"Abstract art is intrinsically linked to human emotion. It is something that stimulates a person's beliefs, ideas, imagination, memory and/or thoughts." Samantha daSilva
2. How do I understand abstract art?
It's only natural that abstract art makes some of us feel uneasy. If a painting doesn't look like anything, we might be tempted to assume it is not "about" anything.
When we see a painting of a hand, a canoe, or a bowl of fruit, (and I realize I am speaking very broadly here, there are many instances when a representational work is still very much open to personal interpretation) there are no questions as to what the painting is about. It's all right there. Plain and simple. The work has been done for us and we can admire the artwork for what it is.
With abstract art on the other hand, the viewer is invited to be an active participant by attaching their own meaning to the work.
This can be confusing, even threatening to some of us who are not used to assigning our own meaning to what we see.
Abstract art is not "about nothing". At its very basics, it is about color, composition, form, line, texture, pattern and process.
One way I like to use to help others understand my abstract paintings is to ask them questions.
I also like to remind my viewers that there is no right or wrong answer. We all have opinions and are entitled to express them.
This self-reflective line of questioning can be absolutely infuriating to some. We might prefer that a piece of art be much more straight forward than having to ask (and answer!) a bunch of questions.
Consequently, an artist might be faced with questions and comments like: "What is it?" and "What does it mean?" or "My 3 year old can do that".
To those questions and comments I rejoice! It's a wonderful starting point for a conversation about the mysteries and beauty of abstract art.
This blog was created to share my belief that the art-making process is a catalyst for transformation and personal empowerment. I am living proof.