Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Photo/digital art/collage: Past And Later Life / The Singular Artistic Vision

copyright RTomens 2018

As discussed with a friend, the singular vision of the artist, perhaps a vision from a deeper place than is commonly explored? By which I mean...what, exactly? But exactness is not always possible in discussing such matters unless one has the ability to draw upon not only a rich reservoir linguistically but the capability of expressing what one knows. And 'knowing' isn't always possible, perhaps not even desirable. How smart was Warhol to be so reticent, to dismiss enquiries the way he did, acting dumb, the smartest brain on the block when it came to knowing why and what he was doing.

To an extent we might declare all (most) art to be singular, with the exception of the blatantly derivative/formulaic/populist. Yes, if we think about that for a while, so much that we see is totally derivative and formulaic but (surprise!) it can be incredibly popular. Art as a common vision, in which there seems to be great appeal, perhaps because it represents the common, therefore a shared aesthetic value. 

Of course it is not always possible to predict what will be popular but the odds are calculable to some degree of certainty. Unless the artist is already successful (gallery/buyer support) in her/his vision, the irony, for unknowns such as myself, is that we may be caught in desiring positive responses by edging towards what we know will garner them. We who have nothing to lose! If art were nothing but a popularity contest it would all be reduced to the lowest possible level. 

My book, Too Much To Bear, is still available from Timglaset

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