Sunday, December 19, 2010

Observations on Art 12.19

One of the things that I think separates the arts from some other fields, such as science and law, is how emotionally based it can be. So much art is created because of emotions, real or maybe imagined but still emotions. Take the emotion out of painting, acting, and even photography and most of the great performances or works of history wouldn't exist. Sometimes we create to teach, sometimes to purely shock, and sometimes just to vent those emotions.

I think this has totally been true all through time. Before the Renaissance most, if not all, western art was commissioned by the church and it mostly shows religious scenes. With the Renaissance came the first depictions of non-religious or even anti-religious things, the first time art had drifted away from the church in almost 500 years. And so shock and awe in the art world was born.

Jacques-Louis David's "The Death of Marat", Goya's "Executions of the Third of May, 1808", and Picasso's "Guernica" all tried to shock the public into an awareness of events of the times. And today we have the storm over the removal of David Wojnarowicz's film "A Fire in My Belly" from the Smithsonian's 'Hide/Seek' exhibit. The film was created after Wojnarowicz's lover died of AIDS and he himself was diagnosed with the disease. His response was anger and he used the anger to create the film.

This has been a way too long way for my art history brain to get to the point. Even though I hide it well I know my brain is fueled by emotion. I tend to act on them before the much smaller thinking part of my brain has a chance to override those emotions. I see something in my mind and create what I see before stopping to think how I might be making another person feel in the process. Not that I care how most people feel about what I do but there are a few people out there in the world that I do care about. Recently I did just that, and hurt the feelings of somebody I do care about.

And I am so sorry.

I really need to think sometimes but it so does my head hurt ....

1 comment:

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