What Makes good Art?
This is a question that is often asked as collectors look for the perfect piece for their home. No one wants to have creative work that is bad. However, this can be a judgement that the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Long ago, in my school days in NYC at the Parson’s School of Art, I participated in an intensive independent studio program where the professors and critics often brought up the issue of “what is art”. Never mind what makes it good.
At that time, the statement was that if an artist intended for the piece to be art, then it was art. On many levels this may be true. However, I think that good art is a bit different. Making it good means being authentic. It means that you are engaged, called to the image, taken in by the story of image, colour and design. That it seduces you and is on your mind several days later. This seduction reaches into the viewers mind and soul and calls for recognition.
Does good art need to be sold?
As I travel through art fairs, selling my art, I am struck by the fact I really can’t sell the art. It actually sells itself. It reaches out to the viewer and invites her, or him, to look at themselves with the art as a guide. Opening up of a memory, or a story about themselves. That is what makes good art and what makes a collector need to have the art in their lives.
In the piece highlighted, titled “Flying High” , there is a sensation of taking on a risk. Diving into a space that is unknown and free is a perfect message for the viewer. It speaks to release and acceptance.
The reality is that the viewer has to be open to it. To let your mind and spirits guided to a place of self recognition and validation. When a collector decides to purchase a piece and says “I’ll buy it”- I have a moment of surprise. A small moment when I realized that the art, that I made, has made an impact. That it has reached this person and preserved a moment of familiarity and self reflection.
Does making great work take deep thought?
When creating work, I am often in a space of doubt. Will my message be clear? What is the message? How do I use colour, subject, patterns to create a piece that has resonance. The goal to be able to reach the viewer can be cumbersome. On many levels, it does not trust the artistic training and practice that I have had for over 30 years. This trust in the message will be conveyed without conscious intention.
I believe that there should be a reflective understanding of the importance of the message. What is its affect? How will it support ideas that are bring a bit of joy and love in to our minds? This is what makes work great.The ability for the viewer to think and feel.