Before the Covid-19 global human experience I was working on building my patron base in person. In 2018 I’d decided to transition into being a full time painter. Working like a madman and building an interesting body of work, the thing I enjoyed most outside of actually painting, were the conversations I’d have with people invited to studio.
I know that art can be a portal to healing. I also know that if you introduce art to people in a specific way, you may very well give an individual access to perspective they’d not arrive to in a lifetime. Once a person unlocks certain mechanisms within in them, breakthroughs are possible.
I was thinking about using art to equip people with tools that could be used in everyday life. One the of the things that needs to change in order for people to have a grander experience when it comes to taking in art are the questions asked.
As an abstractionist I enjoy challenging a viewer. When dealing in recognizable forms, it’s easy for someone to point out, that’s a bicycle. Or look at that those people and that farms house. When no apparent forms are present now you have to maybe use your imagination. You may have to just sit and feel the colors or the motion in an image. Tired of the typical “how does this make you feel?” question. Or “what does this mean?” I started asking, “How do you see yourself in this image?”
Upon being asked such a question most must pause because they’ve never been asked that. I’m an artist interested in conversations because I’m curious and I want to learn. I also appreciate the value in welcome challenges given to a viewer that lead to great discussions and oftentimes a bit of introspection down the line for an individual art lover. Also if a person is not ‘into’ art so much, adjusting the way you introduce work and giving them space to receive the work in the least oppressive fashion often leads to a new lover of art.
So. How do you see yourself in this image?
It’s fine if you don’t have an answer.