Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 37

“I hate that aesthetic game

of the eye and the mind,

played by these connoisseurs,

these mandarins

who ‘appreciate’ beauty.

What is beauty, anyway?

There’s no such thing.

I never ‘appreciate’,

any more than

I ‘like.’ I love or I hate.”

Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

PAINTING - B-SERIES - 12Acrylic, charcoal and graphite on canvas board. 10" x 8"
PAINTING – B-SERIES – 12Acrylic, charcoal and graphite on canvas board. 10″ x 8″

Beauty.  If it is subjective, then all art is subjective.  The dictionary defines subjective as existing in the mind and belonging to the thinking subject.  Subjectivity pertains to or is characteristic of an individual.  So the, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Being subjective is also being emphatically excessive about your mood, attitude or opinions.  Too much and your subjectivity is egocentric?  But, isn’t it really about relating to the nature of an object as you see it, know it or understand it in your own mind?  And, isn’t that (relating) distinct from the thing or object or concept itself?

Is beauty and subjectivity always authentic?  Is good art undisputed and genuine and therefore worthy of acceptance.  Is labeling or deeming a work of art as authentic more based on the belief of the one who labeled it as such?  And, does the authority or status of that individual convince us to conform to their viewpoint based solely on the fact that we believe in their authenticity?

Who is to say my work is good or not?  I feel at times as though I’m walking a fine line between furniture store art, trash or something that may actually be sought out or accepted for what it is – eventually.

E. H. Gombrich, the author of The Story of Art said, “Great works of art seem to look different every time one stands before them.   They seem to be as inexhaustible and unpredictable as real human beings.”

Pliny the Elder believed the invention of painting came about as an act of love when a Corinthian maiden traced the shadow of her lover on a wall.  Is painting and act of love?

Posted on: 18/01/2013, by : Ron Fortier
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