History presents wondrous objects d’art from artists we can only learn about from observation and written texts from their time. When for the first time an Impressionist understood the dissembling of light, its effect on the eye and how to represent it on canvas, we can only conjecture. Yet the timelessness and beauty of so many magnificent paintings are still available for us to view and contemplate-even after over 100 years.
Going back further to the genius of the Italian sculptors, their work for the patrons providing them with a livelihood, and the particular subject matter of their sculpting gives great pause. To see even one of these glorious statues that seem to have a life glow of their own is unforgettable.
Flash forward through all the changes including Cubism, Neo Avant Garde, Contemporary, Post Modern and so many conceptual and post conceptual practices may make you wonder where does art stand today?
Or what meaning does art have for me today in the 21st century second decade?
For any art work you see you can always apply a set of characteristics to help you judge its merit. Since the art world is so vast with each artists drawing on their own traditions, historical perspectives, attraction to their media, their own feelings and love of expression reflected in their art, you might not know how to separate what you would really love to have from another.
People always say I was drawn to this artist. Or I love how they do this, or this feels like me, and so on. You can also ask the question, “what are they key features of this work? Did the artist represent these features in a way that based on my knowledge was successful? Does the entire piece function well? Is this a piece that has a quality that I can appreciate over time?”
You can become your own critic and in your own questioning appreciate what you see in the art and its value. Because the art you see now is from a living breathing inspired human taking thought, history, matter, medium, feeling and transforming all of that into what you see in front of you. In many ways it is no different in process from the past artists we hold so dear today.
And some of the greatest works were created from the most impossible of artists with all their egos, sensitivities, and genius. We hold the art from the past up, not focusing so much on the artists because they are no longer with us.
So I guess my point is if you see art you like, but aren’t sure if you like the artist, give it some time. You will have the art in your home, will live with it and love it more each day, but you don’t have to live with the artist!