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Maker of forms, images and poems, hopefully with deep meaning

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The power of art

I'm not sure that anyone could have put the case for the continuing relevance of art as well as the late, brilliant  Robert Hughes in the "New Shock of the New" documentary.

Painting and drawing bring us in to a different— a deeper and more fully experienced relationship to the object. We have had a gutful of fast art and fast food. What we need more of is slow art; art that holds time as a vase holds water; art that grows out of a modes of perception and making whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in ten seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep running in our natures in a word art that is the very opposite of mass media. 

Painting is, you might say, exactly what mass visual media are not; a way of specific engagement not of general seduction. That is its continuing relevance to us. Everywhere and at all times there is a world to be re-formed by the dazzling subtlety and persistent slowness of the painter’s eye. There is beauty in pure paint confidently handled.
The basic project of art is always to make the world whole and comprehensible, to restore it to us in all its glory and its occasional nastiness, not through argument but through feeling, and then to close the gap between you and everything that is not you, and in this way pass from feeling to meaning.
… today I think we are left with a more modest, but an equally difficult task for art to do, and that is to be beautiful, to manifest beauty. People need beauty. There’s a hunger for it amid the clamour of visual imagery that surrounds us and so we seek out zones of silence and contemplation, arenas of free thought and unregimented feeling.

The idea that aesthetic experience provides a transcendent understanding is at the very heart of art. It fulfils a deep human need.
            

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