Should You Understand An Artist Or Wait Until They’re Gone And Can’t Defend Themselves?

How you ever stood before a painting, sculpture, anything described as a work of art, completely and totally in wonder of what were they thinking while creating? Bet the thought has entered your mind, as it has mine, where they even conscious? 

I have seen some amazing masterpieces done with houseplant brushes in Shopping Center Craft Fairs. Sculptures in wood that defy explanation. Scrimshaw creations that simply go beyond the impossible.

Then there are those that fall into the category of, “what the heck is it?” Abstract is one thing, but there must be a category for WTHII. Not being any sort of art enthusiast, critic, student, and in no way a judge of what should or should not be considered as an artful rendering, it comes down to what my eyes and senses make strong suggestions as to like or not.

That would seem to get me off the hook before continuing that this is strictly and totally subjective. I think that means I’m safe offering my thoughts without fear of rejection or humiliation. Ahh…that feels much better.

If it is acceptable to say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, then a comparable thought has surely been applied to that which is referred to as “art.” One artists disaster is another’s masterpiece. 

Now this started off as somewhat of a satire on the subject, until that sentence above just bumped into a memory shard. The very piece of marble used by Michael Angelo to carve out the statue of David, was supposedly a worthless piece rejected by numerous master artists lying in ruin.

So I guess there is more truth to that previous statement than intended!

 Oh boy, now the brain cells have actually kicked into over-drive, as another shard pops up and remembers a different throw away that was granted permanent residence at an institution for his health, and protection. Joseph Merrick was awarded such favor from none other than Queen Victoria, Royal Patron of the London Hospital. The world knows of Joseph as the Elephant Man.

Is there a point here as it relates to art and artists? Of course, or why else might I be writing this? Truth is the average individual has an inbred inclination to see with the eyes. The old saying about seeing is believing is actually pretty narrow in fact. What enters the eye gate is never the whole story, or picture as it may be.

So it is with art. To understand an artists rendering goes beyond what’s on the canvas, sculpture, even sonnet or rhyme. Until you have felt that artists heart, known their emotions, personality, muse, then it’s fair to say one never understands anything of their art.

In life we rarely arrive at a complete understanding of anything or anyone, because change is constant up until the very moment it’s not. Physical life may end, yet there is the spiritual, to which there is no limit. How does that affect the living? Ask those who have been touched by one.

Taking into account that after an artist has passed from one life to another, years can be spent studying style, background, likes, dislikes, family, and all those things that can now be seen to have had an impact on that life. With this knowledge, many would then believe it is the answer for the ‘why’ of certain styles, moods and more.

 Such beliefs are guesses at best, or as the scientific community likes to put a more knowledgeable sound to it, an educated hypothesis.

What are the chances the minds of Monet, Shakespeare, Hemingway, Dali, van Gogh, Bob Marley, Rod McKuen, John Lennon, could ever be completely open even to those closest to them? Are any of us that transparent? Is it likely any of them were?

 Yet there are those who would have you believe they know, and as said in the beginning, these artists are no longer around to defend themselves.

So in fairness, I think I’ll just let those others rest in their illusions. Chances are it’s hardly going to bother the artists who have gone to a far greater venue, that defies description. Let’s see someone try to wrap that up with mere verbal attempts!

Just so you know, I intend to be around for awhile to defend myself, in the event anyone thinks they know what makes me tick as a writer. Actually it won’t change anything, but it could be a fun experiment.

My cousin the artist, got labeled Electric, Exotic and Eccentric, as few understand his art but they still like it enough to pay. (check out his gallery on FB)

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by Wm. Curtis Jarrett

Seeing as how my eBooks haven’t fared as well I may have to take some pointers.

For now I’ll just continue to be real. Coffee’s waitin’!

Follow me on social media. You will be surprised!
Alan Written by:

Alan is retired and resides in Quito, Ecuador. Writing is a passion which has resulted in two eBooks thus far, with more in the works. Married 47 years with four sons and 13 grandchildren, provides potential grist for the mill! Alan is a charter "Boomer", a Viet Nam veteran, committed to roasting his own coffee and writes about whatever pops into his mind. He loves to build and ride recumbent bikes, play racquetball, writes almost daily, travels Ecuador, and talks to anything that does not move fast enough! The twinkle in his eye is a combination of the sun, and an active sense of humor. His desire to encourage others to write is being answered through his articles on the Internet.

One Comment

  1. William C Jarrett
    July 1, 2016

    Thank Mr. Jarrett for your kind words. Just trying to make like a little more interesting and this is some icing for today.

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