Art is Communication
So as Im thinking and dreaming about what may be to come in the spring of 2007, I thought it might be interesting to write a series about some of the more prevelant "issues an art student might face during the course of thier education" (at least from my observations and perceptions)
One major issue I wrote about in a previous post "Finding Your Tangent", is a pretty huge one, but there are so many more. And most blur into one another.
Art is communication--its a language without words and if your language is unintlligable to anyone else, its pretty much useless. So, I have grappled time and again with my unquenchable need for people to understand my work.
When I was doing a lot of minimalist work, I was concerned that few people would "get it". What I wanted was for everyone (not just a select few) to be able to understand and derive some kind of meaning and enjoyment from what I was doing.
As I was having this existential crisis, I was told that Picasso also wanted people to understand his work, but he didnt think about that before he painted, only after.
The wisdom I received from that was that there is nothing wrong with wanting people to understand and enjoy your work, but to purposely set out to do so, can have disasterous consequences. An artist that tries to pander to the public/critics by working in a trendy, "pleasing" or derivitave style, although they might become succesful commercially, are being creatively dishonest. The message being that I must remain true to myself and consider the consequences later.
Creative honesty is such a major isssue. As I continue to learn, I realize at every turn, that it is much more difficult than that little word could possibly communicate. You'de think it would be easy, but there are all kinds of forcess at work that can prevent or hinder one from really knowing and following the path of ones true creative self. Some of which is the pressure we put on ourselves to try and "please" others. This can be so stiffling in fact, that it confuses us into not even recognizing what it means to us as individuals to be perfectly and unflinchingly honest.
Being complelety aware of what we are doing and honest with ourselves about it (the good, bad and the ugly) is a difficult thing to do. Not only in art but in life.