‘What’s the point of Abstract Art?’ , I get asked this all of the time by students. The best answer of course is ‘What do you mean by Abstract Art?’.
The very act of taking the real world and transposing it onto a flat surface with paint is by definition an abstraction of reality – it’s just that we’re so used to seeing ‘real’ things as images that we’ve lost any wonder of the process.
But as this is a personal conversation between you and I, it would be nice to explain myself a little more cogently, just as we might over a coffee in the studio.
I would say that the definition of visual Art is something that makes us aware of our deeper feelings and emotions; illustration might inform or educate, but Art should move us.
Feelings might be jealousy, anger, joy, love, wonder, fear, admiraton or whatever, what they have in common of course is one cannot see them. You can paint a figure, draw a landscape or plot out an architectural sketch with a ruler, but how do you draw happiness?
If Art is about feelings, and feelings are the invisible, charged space between us and our situation, then all Art must be fundamentally Abstract; we can never paint what we feel , only allude to it.
The hope of great painters is to evoke feelings in their viewers, to paint not merely what was there, but how they felt about it, and that dear readers is as good an argument as you will find for the validity of abstraction.
Jackson Pollock described his Art as ‘energy and motion made visible‘ and it is that vein that I created The Painted Garden. Mine are not pictures of flowers, but paintings of Melancholy, Joy, Unexpected Loss, Sudden Fortune and Contentment; none of these things can be seen but they can certainly be felt.
I invite you to view the show before it is dispersed to my collectors, if you can’t make it to Norfolk then drop me a line and I will send you images to meditate over and enjoy.