Monday, January 30, 2012

Not A 7-11 Artist

Lately, I wonder if I have lost a certain perspective in making abstract work. Though, packed with feelings for me, not everyone gets the idea behind the work. I often face questions like "what does it mean" or "what am I looking at." And, I find myself hesitating in answering this kind of questions.

I have always maintained the position that a viewer should find his or her connection with any artwork, and establish one’s own opinions as to what the piece means to him. However, in reality, much of the public wants to be fed an amount of things it can recognize, like a tree or a person, before any thought or feeling is processed. I am realizing that audiences prefer to view artworks that are “practical”.

As an artist who is striving to be more commercial, I find myself making more and more landscape work – images people could easily comprehend. I try to incorporate my style in it, but somehow, with fewer questions came fewer emotional responses. I catch myself thinking, while painting, that “is my audience going to distinguish this part.”

Eventually, I catered too much to the need of my viewers that I am losing all sense of perspective as an artist; I’ve become a 7-11-artist because I want to sell my work. True, there is a sense of comfort in looking at things we identify - there is no urgency to dip deep and to discover what other meanings something might embody. But, I think that is the real allure in abstract work. Something that makes us wonder, try to figure out and to think about.

Therefore, though it was nice to paint water and mountain, I must now return to abstract art where my true heart lies and regain my inspiration in producing artworks.

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