Friday, January 18, 2013

Subterranean Blues

Awhile back I did a post on what is art and received many opinions and definitions , among them:

"Art is what the artist has to express in order to breathe",    "Art is a form of explanation",   "Art is the proper task of life" (Nietzche),     "Anything in nature", and    "A revelatory expression of a supportive  nature that balances human tendency for logical criticism".  I still wonder.   I know what I like:   is an expression which I donot grow tired of..  We have a mixed media painting called "Nest" , by Renee of Hannibal, Missouri (Mark Twain's home town) which hangs above our mantle and has for many years.  I can't explain why I never want to move it elsewhere or replace it.  Seems it belongs there and always will.

This above expression by Mr. Henry Avignon is created, I think, by a process of mechanical oxidation, then photographed.  I seem to always look for a colorful scene as in  the twisty organic colors in this one.  Why does it appeal to me amongst all of his other works?  Dunno
Art can be tricky and make you ask questions maybe never to be answered.

                                                                   "Nest" by Renee

I am tending toward a definition of Art as being :    "an unnecessary work of visual, aural, or written product ,which is  presented to  and considered by others, to express a life".  "Unnecessary"  in the sense that we can live without it.  All we need to actually survive is air, water, food, and shelter.  (But how much richer our lives to be exposed to the work and expression of others.)  And the artists certainly would not consider it unnecessary --- in fact, their definition usually involves a need to express in some form or other, in order  to live!
Why do we write on these blogs to express, when we don't necessarily have to?  Why are there cave paintings in France,  and etchings on rocks in the dry  American southwest from long-gone tribes?

The need to leave a mark seems to be a human urge.


  1. Visceral. I walk into an exhibition, scan the room and can immediately sense the paintings that move me in some way. Can be realist, abstract or something else. But it is truely love at first sight.

    Other paintings can grow in appreciation after I, perhaps, learn a little of the story about how or why they were painted. But they are never my true loves.

  2. Art to me is something I empathise with. Something that connects even if I may not know why. Art is something that can be simple and I understand it's beauty or it can be something that unnerves me but I am drawn to it. Art is an expression that awakens you or stirs something within.

  3. I change my definition a lot, but I think it is only the semantics that I change.

    Art is metaphoric expression. The creator uses the medium that helps him or her transcent the limitations of mind and body to get to where the expression manifests as the sublime. So art in itself is almost an energetic realm, moved by the energetic boundaries that speak to the individual who creates, but it also reaches the receiver via the mode of metaphoric expression that resonates best with him or her. This is why some people look at images and see pretty pictures or paint sploches (Pollack) and others see the despair of the human condition. It is another reason some people read a book or see a film and it may only serve as entertainment, while others keep learning from that same medium time and time again.

    I also think art is limitless in what it can do, and expression in itself is limited only to the material realim in which we operate.

    My definition doesn't cover things like bad art, which may in itself be subjective, but we also live in a world that has commodified artistic expression and made it into a product. Music is a good example as there are jazz musicians that delve into something so mysteriously profound and then you have the smooth jazz variety that is aimed for a specific goal. And I won't even begin talking about pop music, but I would call The Beatles artists and they were unabashedly pop.


  4. Just overheard on the radio:

    "It was a broom closet, now it's Apartment 3AA."

    I would love to know the context of this statement. (art in advertising?)

  5. The artist exist within colors and words.. allowing him to create what others might not releate