Artist, you try to express, share, sell yourown aesthetic values, attitudes and vision?


Image from – first curated Instagram show.


Images from  – Figurative art is back.

What do you as artist wish to do when you paint, perform, install, sing, play a musical instrument, digitalize, Instagramize, etc?

It often seems to me that many artists, in this case painters, paint so as to sell what they have made. This aim appears very low down my priorities, if at all – so I will not bother to deal with it. It is not only from this consumer-orientated attitude of artists that one finds “selling” as first priority, but also from supposedly serious art sites such as Artnet. Such sites list the top 100 or 200 artists at present, or annually, say for 2015, 2014, for all time etc by the amount of money s/he sold work for in that year or other time period and/or by the highest prices paid for his/her work.

On a more serious note – at least two conditions must be fulfilled for a painter to express his/her aesthetic ‘vision’ (values, attitudes, insights, understanding, inner world and other realities, etc) . 1) S/he should have a clear, effable, meaningful aesthetic ‘vision’ and 2) s/he should have the techniques, skills, ability and wish to express this ‘vision’. Note that I only mention ‘express’ this vision and not share, communicate, sell, etc.

The latter requires other attitudes, agendas, intentions and motives than that of ‘expressing’ one’s aesthetic vision and realities.  I will not deal with them here.

What is a clear, unique, original, authentic , truthful and effable or expressible aesthetic vision? Everybody has aesthetic notions and that is revealed by many things in the person’s life, for example how s/he present himself in the world, they way he dresses, what someone eats, the individuals s/he finds attractive and other preferences in their daily  and more  specialized areas (for example preferred  films, music,  television shows, art, fashion, interior design, etc) existence.

Here we are concerned with the painter’s aesthetic vision in the socio-cultural practice of painting (and perhaps related areas) and the discourse of  Visual and Fine Art and the the genre of painting. This holistic vision and/or some of its parts and perhaps even certain basic principles, pre-suppositions and other factors that influence, affect and determine it might change, even drastically, suddenly and intentionally over time. Or, changes might occur gradually and even unintentionally. Think of the changes over time n the work of some artist for example van Gogh, Picasso, Rothko, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Pollock, et al. A unique, original, authentic (or personally truthful) and fully developed aesthetic vision, ideals, attitudes, values and principles will most likely only be attained after many years in the life of a mature artist (writer, composer, etc).

The second condition, the artist’s means of expression or tools refer both to the material ones as well as the formal, structural ones involved in a painting as a ‘work of art’. The latter includes things such as composition, form, color, texture, shape, movement, etc. The former refers to the techniques to get the paint, etc on the support and ways of manipulating them.

Condtions 1 and 2 goes hand in hand and 2 is required so as to be able to create and express condition one (aesthetic vision), while 1 determines they ways in which, how and why and artist will deal with the structural, formal aspects in certain ways or his/her gradually evolved style.

Occasionally an artist will view his completed or almost completed work and add finishing touches to it. Touches that might be imperceptible or irrelevant to other viewers, but that are essential for the artist to express and convey details and complexities of his aesthetic vision.

(to be continued…)