I was at a cafe in Ottawa Yesterday doing some colour work when I overheard a conversation between a couple girls and a guy sharing a pitcher of beer. (Yes u can get beer at coffee shops these days!! its quite well rounded for all needs). They got onto the topic of the National Art Gallery of Ontario. It's hard not to think about that obscenely large painting with the dot in the middle that sells for a billion dollars, I'll admit I too have pondered the why of this piece. They had the pretty common statement to make "I would never pay that for it, its so ridiculous." Or "I get it, But it's stupid" type stuff. Then They started talking about Van Gogh. BIAS ALERT. I love the Guy. Can't get enough! Read some of his letters last night in bed!!....... Anyway... They talked about one of his self portraits. "Like the brush strokes are all whatever and he turned so you can't even see his cut off ear, like how does this stuff constitute art, so stupid". Being an Artist type, while creating art, and listening to this, I became quite frustrating. In my mind were fantasies of standing up and shouting, "LEAVE VAN GOGH ALONE!!! HE'S THE SHIT". Of course I restrained my self and kept working, and will now delight YOU 12 followers with the musings of my brain mass.
I'm quite over this negative nancy type conversation starting. I wonder sometimes. How can everything suck. Really? How can a person just talk about how shitty so many things are. Always find the bad. Always judge the person. Where does judging come from??? Well Scientifically it comes from inside u. I'm sure you could point to some area on ur body like ur 3rd rib and say "HERE IT CAME FROM HERE!! DAMN JUDGY RIB!" Or maybe that's only something I would say. REGARDLESS... It comes from you. But how is it that we deduce such a statement about something seemingly separate from ourselves? The mirror effect some would say. We complain about what others really reflect back at us. What does that mean? So If someone shows you something that YOU don't like, its because you don't like this about you. It's not something YOU would do or say. So because you wouldn't do or say that then its not okay for others to do or say this.
That is how I felt and where aaaaall the lovely things I wanted to say came from for these 3 peeps. I love Van Gogh. I understand why I love him, because I understand him. I relate to him. Especially his crazy period. I understand his art because I understand my art. And Why I do the art that I do.
Its not really new for most artists who find their unique style. The style is a result of our understanding of self honesty. Being and Living true to everything about ourselves. And expressing our truth. OUR truth. No one elses. But what is usually found when this happens, is that our truth, is other peoples truths too.
So back to the judgers and nay sayers. I'm most bothered by their surface layer of hate for art, and their ill attempt to find the why of the art. It's what you do? No? Yes? I think yes. You want to be transported, pulled, or welcomed in to the world and energy of the piece you are attempting to understand. Step inside it. And apply it to yourself. How does your self see it. When it is truly attempting to understand it without thoughts. Without our own perceptions. Being open to what it has to say, without trying to use what we know to speak for it. Not an easy thing.
Van Gogh didn't paint hoping to be in a museum or gallery. He had a gift. A gift of a visual voice to make up for the audible voice he lacked. Lived in the quietness. His mind prolly never shut up. I hear that! But on the outside he is watching. And had such an understanding of life. Daily he would go and look at how light touched people and things. Reveling in the miracle of god he would say. Then wandering why people were so cruel to each other.
He did art only so he could push his limits. and get better. He may not of drew perfect proportions and perfect flowers. So What? One must understand Why he didn't draw perfect proportions. or or perfect flowers.
Look at Picasso. He had so many styles and mediums. All attempts to understand reality as he understood it, as his understanding changed and evolved. Some of it he outright cut up and put in different order. Because what does the order matter? When its the essence of the sum of the parts.
Art is and at its core will always be attempts at expressing our SELF. The pursuit of our self. Doesn't matter how its done. Because how you do it is perfect. As long as you do it for you. Then it will always be right. As Long as it is the best YOU got when you do it. Then that's all one can ever hope to do in life captured in permanency.
Self portraits is the most real expression an artist can do. To capture who you think you are in that moment. How you percieve yourself to look in the eyes of another. The Ultimate mirror. Each brush stroke a stroke towards the visual collection of matter in the tangible world. Each a piece in the puzzle of the sum total of your essence. From the tone, the light, and pose you choose.
So next time when I hear someone talk about art, I hope it is in an attempt to understand the world going on within the artist at the time that they gave birth to this piece. Because every line, every colour, and every brush stroke is a window and a portal into the artists devinity at that moment.
As per the Giant painting with a dot in the middle.. Next time you look at it. Understand, that you didn't paint it. You didn't have that thought. But someone did, and they somehow beautifully captured that flash of a thought and turned the formless into form. So that you, could be transported into that moment of formlessness within their mind. And have that same thought. Sharing in the magnificence that we as humans here have. To see something, and then to feel the intention of it created out of the organization of matter by the creator of that intent.
THAT is the brilliance and beauty one should strive to see, in all things, in all life. in all people. Not to judge that they aren't expressing themselves how we wish them to. But they are expressing themselves exactly how they must at that moment. Nothing more.
Including those you pass by, who you may think aren't all "there" in your mind. They are exactly where they are, because they and all people walk the sum total of their essence as a human in all moments, always and forevour changing. If you wanna hold onto the past, Then hold onto it. If you wanna wear 5 layers of makeup, then wear 5 layers of make-up. If you wanna dye your hair purple and skip down a busy city sidewalk, then I will have the best afternoon moment ever seeing it. Or perhaps you seeing me.
Regardless, what you do in this moment, is perfect. Because its what you choose to do. If you choose to change, then change. The only one holding you back is you. Often out of fear. This world has a lot of it. So one less person hiding behind the fear of accepting the beauty and majestic magic of everything in the present, is really good for the world, and beyond.
Have a Magical Day and take a moment to be wowed