Monday, August 3, 2009

Art for Art's Sake

When I was an undergrad in art school, professors were always asking, What is this image about? What were you thinking when you created this image? I felt at times they read too much into an image. I thought, Can't I take a photograph just to take the image? I use to question my ability as an artist because my images didn't always have hidden meetings. I kept thinking Why can't I create just to create? Isn't my intention to create enough? I have started to realize that no matter what my reasons are for creating an image, the viewer will always put their own twist on the meaning of it based on their own emotions and experiences. The more I think about this the more excited I get about creating. I realize that my images are not not finished when I am finished with them. They continue by becoming a collaboration between viewer and artist.

Quotes to think about from the book The Artist Mentor by Ian Jackman.

"The artist is certainly under no obligation to explain what he is doing, even if he can. Meaning is not the responsibility of the artist. When asked, some artists will happily discuss their intentions, while others claim they have none, or say they don't know what they are. Each work of art is what it is, and beyond that any position artists care to take about with it means is valid."

"In one case, I have cut off a flying milkmaid's head, and it is coming along in the air behind her, I didn't do it because I have anything I wanted to say about milkmaids; I did it because I needed to fill up that space in the picture where you now see the head." - Marc Chagall

"As the chapter on artistic intention demonstrates, if you've created something, you can only answer for your part in the process-what you put in. What others choose to take out is up to them."

"You don't have to justify what you are doing. But if you want to, you can offer an explanation."

"A picture is not thought out and settled beforehand. While it is being done it changes as one's thoughts change. And when it is finished, it still goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it. A picture lives a life like a living creature, undergoing the changes imposed on us by our life from day to day. This is natural enough, as the picture lives only through the man who is looking at it." - Pablo Picasso

1 comment:

  1. Oh where was this book when I was in art school? I spent so much time doubting myself as an artist because I just wasn't any good at the whole game of telling others what something I made was "about." I hardly ever set out to make something specifically about something anyway, preferring to just go with the flow and let things happen.