Some of us, artists and viewers, have difficulty with "statement pieces." The horror of looking at depictions of war makes us want to turn away and not examine the message which might lie within. But today, 77 years after it was painted, Picasso's famous "Guernica" has become a much discussed icon. At its unveiling it was hardly noticed. But it was, and is, art -- although not for the living room.
Consider that abstract art also gets short shift. "My grandkid could do that," is something I hear a lot. (So maybe she is an artist?!) And the viewer moves on. But.....abstract art is not a "new" invention.
Artists have long struggled using only the language of shape, color and size to convey something to the world. Some are successful in communicating, some not so much. Unfortunately too many people walk by without trying to hear a message. And whether I'd hang it or not, I think I owe the producer at least a try.
So where is this diatribe taking us? to the Phillips Collection, the museum of modern art in Washington, DC. where an upcoming program will explore the affect/effect that viewing art can have on our bodies. I'm excited.
Whether or not you have been as intrigued as I by the "slow movement" crossing our nation lately (admittedly slowly), I think you will be interested in the Phillips program titled "Slow Moving and Mindful Viewing." Its goal is to teach visitors to view art via mindful meditation. Breathing emphasis, imagination, curiosity...a new way to "see" what lies within the paint and canvas. Click on the link and learn more than I could possibly explain. You may accuse me of being crazy but I applaud anyone willing to teach or try a new method of exploring art appreciation.
From now on you do not need to feel apologetic if I produce something you'd never hang...but if it makes you think...or feel...or smell....well, that's the ultimate compliment. And if you run into me at an art festival and I am holding a piece of pottery and chanting....well, give me credit for trying!!
Here's to finding new ways to appreciate art...without having to live with it on our wall!
p.s. I had difficulty finding the exact dates of the exhibit but this is fair warning to all my relations and friends in DC area: I may be coming!