Thursday, April 20, 2006

This week I've been putting lots of final tiny cracks into my painting of ivy for the Jackson's competition. It's a very strange picture, of an arm on Mars. While reading about van Gogh and the potato eaters it struck me that Dali missed something in his appraisal of artists, that is emotion. I now think that it is very important for a picture to have emotion. Abstract art rarely has it (abstract art without a context never has it) because abstract art without a context is nothing and the very worst kind of art. A Mondrian for example on it's own is an empty and horrible set of squares. With a title like 'prison' then it gains some context. With a previous picture that shows a similar shape but something realistic so indicate the evolution of the image, it gains more context. Without that abstract art is utterly empty, horrible, worthless yet almost all of the abstract art you see (like those awful blobs on eBay) lack the context. Abstract art is really my least favourite genre for this reason. It always needs explaining. It can work when explained though... if you saw a painting of a blob, however awful, but then were told that it was the last mark made at 6am in prison by a man condemned to death, just one accidental mark he made while brushing past the canvas when passing out of the door, then it gains emotion through context. It is better in my opinion to avoid the need for the context of a picture all together by just painting it well enough to see it, or to feel it on a sub-conscious level. That is why I favour a mix of the surreal and the reasoned above all art genres.

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