I found some more thoughts on art recently that I like, and propose for others to ponder. Let me credit first, the professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (incidentally where my son is a rising junior), Ori Z. Soltes, whose ideas these are.
“Art is a medium through which the artist subjectively interprets, revisions, and filters the objective data of the world.”
Soltes talks about art as continuity and transformation, a constant dialogue between continuous ideas and images with varied transformations of style, form, and symbol. (I might also add media). He talks about about how both continuity and transformation are apparent in obvious ways and subtle ways, and how sometimes the artist herself is not aware of what her art communicates. I have experienced this phenomenon many times; viewers of my work often see things in it that were not a part of my conscious creative effort. Apparently they were there in the unconscious! This is one of the things I love most about art and artmaking; every viewer brings his or her own experience to the work, and every viewer sees something a little different. This of course, makes for fascinating dialogue.
Soltes mentions the idea of filter. We all filter what we see through our own experience, and this too adds to the dialogue. And I have always been acutely aware of continuity, especially when I view the work of the master artists of the past, and present. As artists we all are part of a timeline of history, influenced by those who came before us, and hopefully, honoring them as we continue the tradition of artmaking. I am proud to keep the tradition of continuity – the continuity of history and the continuity of ideas – as well as the tradition of transformation – changing a pattern in obvious or subtle ways – thank you Professor Soltes!