Monday, November 19, 2007

Art as Expression

Quick Sketch of Lighthouse, unfinished
thanks to terence p on WetCanvas for the reference

This week I plan to look at different aspects of art and I see it, what I like about it, how it functions in my life. It won't be a comprehensive treatise, just a few thoughts.

First, I just wanted to look at "art as expression." There are times when art is chosen as a medium over words or photographic evidence. This is an interesting aspect to art.

Using art to express something better than in words or photographs:

Guernica by Picasso -

  • what it did: made people understand quickly the depth of a tragedy
  • why it works: how easy is it to stop reading an article or turn off the radio and tv? Guernica said everything in a single glance.
Pre-Reformation Roman Catholic Imagery -
  • what it tried to do: teach their people everything they needed to know about God, the universe, and everything (this was back in the day when the Bible was only in Latin for academics, chained to the pulpit)
  • what it says about art: this is not an approach I agree with, but nonetheless, a bold concept to explain religion by art alone - says something about the perceived power of art
Rembrandt's Sketches of Saskia's deathbed (here's one) -
  • what it did: (only guesses here) helped him sit through those hours, helped him work through his emotions, helped him grieve, enabled him to honor her in her last hours
  • what it does for others: conveyed a mood that Rembrandt couldn't put into words - no one would be interested in the reading a rambling diary of a grieving husband, but how interesting are the sketches?
These examples leaped to my own mind, perhaps others popped into your mind. It's interesting to think about why art was chosen for expression in certain instances - and why it was effective in certain instances. And by way of application, do have any examples in your own portfolio where you "spoke" with your art something that was best conveyed that way? I don't just mean, did you express something in your piece, but rather did your artwork communicate something that another medium couldn't have done?

And with all that seriousness, let's end on a funny note. According to this site, this blog is written on a "genius" level - I suppose as with all modern standards, the standard for genius is falling! :-)

1 comment:

Valerie Jones said...

Hi Rose...I'm glad you are looking at art as an expression. I've been trying to study that a little more as I am trying to teach it to my students. I know in the future when I start a new piece, I will think more about it and what expression it will create.