Monday, March 20, 2017

Where Once I Saw Beauty (oil on canvas, 2017)

There’s an empty, derelict house about four miles from where I live, that has been the subject of numerous drawings and paintings over the past ten years. I’ve drawn the house from every possible angle, at various times of the day, and during all the seasons of the year. One day, two summers ago, I was riding by it on my bicycle and I happened to notice three small satellite dishes mounted to the corner of the front porch roof. Interestingly, I’d never seen them before, they weren’t in any of my drawings and, yet, they had been there all along.

We’re inundated every day with a plethora of sensory information, so much so that we usually filter that information in order to make sense of it. We see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear, and more often than not, the things we perceive are the things that conform to our own personal (and highly subjective) version of reality. In so doing, we tend to develop a sort of tunnel vision, which keeps us stuck in our own individual perception of the world. One of the many reasons that art is so important is that the skilled and sensitive artist is able to take their own unique way of seeing the world, seen through their own filters of perception, and turn that into visual form so that others can see the world the way the artist does and (hopefully) gain some enlightenment from the experience. When making art, the things that we leave out of the work are just as important (oftentimes MORE important) than the things we put in.

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