Happy Birthday, Dad!

GOD Bless you forever, Dad!!!

My view on art

Portrait of Vincent van Gogh

What is art?

For me, art is more about the process of creating rather than the finished product itself. In other words, the creative process– the thoughts and emotions that one experiences and expresses and puts into the work– is what makes any thing ART and what makes anyone an artist. This is the reason why I consider the notion of physical beauty as subjective, all the more giving credence to the saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Indeed, what may be beautiful to me may be despicable to someone else; what may be abhorring to me may be endearing to another! If someone works on something with all his/her passion, then, to me, that person is an artist capable of creating works of art! An artist must be able to bridge the link from emotion to expression. This link is a sacred experience I’ll call “creative process.” And this is where I expect to find art. There is no shortcut to this link other than the personal conviction to be true to one’s self. To me, it is where the artists are separated from the painters, sculptors, illustrators, poets, musicians, actors, writers, architects, designers, and the like. It hardly matters whether the work was appreciated by everyone else, or just a handful of the artist’s kin! And it is also immaterial to me whether the artist has little education, or a full-time painter with a doctorate’s degree in art history! A true artist continues to work on his/her art– painting, sculpting, drawing, designing houses, playing music, writing poetry, choreographing a dance, etc.– in spite of everything! Only a true artist will sustain the creative aspect required of this endeavor! And only sincerity or honesty or the truthfulness to one’s own feelings can bring a concept into fruition and elicit the level of appreciation that makes the finished product a work of art! The PROCESS of creating something becomes the outlet for the artist’s emotions, and the resulting work becomes the extension of the artist’s expression. So, art, in this manner, also becomes the end product of what someone was feeling (love, happiness, lust, anger, sadness, fear, etc.) during the creative process. It can be a peaceful landscape, a funny cartoon, a loving portrait, an angry abstract, a joyful melody, or even a sensual sculpture! If a work is truly expressive of what the person was feeling at the time, then, to me, it’s a work of art!

A question that may arise from this point of view might very well be: How then do I know if something is a work of art? My answer to that is, of course, subjective– and hence, personal: if a certain work “moves” me or inspires me in any way, then, to me, it is a work of art! It is as though I was feeling what the artist was going through when he/she was creating his/her art. Is it possible then that a certain work– a painting, for example– created during a tumultuous phase of an artist’s life “move” me to do things I might regret later? Maybe, yes. But, hopefully not! The effect of art on my psyche can be that powerful and overbearing! But I must also add that while an artist is able to express his/her emotions through art, the spectator– in this case, the art viewer– should exercise caution in his/her interpretation of the artwork, making sure the effect does not cloud his/her reason. While art always provides an artist the outlet for emotions that would have otherwise been expressed unlawfully, the art viewer, on the other hand, must be wise– for his/her own good– not to get carried away by fickle emotions. Life imitating art on the basis of foolish reasoning and ideals can only bring trouble and instability. In a world of order, art– while free– still has boundaries to be considered. Some lines are not meant to be crossed over! Nonetheless, a work does not diminish its artistic quality even if the effect makes me sad, or angry, or crazy. All I’ll ever understand is a sort of feeling of connection to the artist’s life and work! Whatever emotion the artwork will leave on me will live in me. Such is my appreciation of anything I consider art! And of all the artists that history has ever produced, I will always have the deepest respect for Vincent van Gogh. To me, he is the ultimate artist! When it comes to art, van Gogh is all heart!