This painting is called “Create Your Own Still Life”. It is a cry out against the simple viewer, against the way we look at
art and against our own laziness when contemplating different styles and creations.
There are three parts to the painting. The large rectangle on
the left is a still life, loosely interpreted, yet essentially
still figurative. It is not a pure abstraction. If you look carefully,
each piece in the still life is a gesture of the real piece and a number. Try to visualize
this as a painting in and of itself – without the other two sections.
The vertical rectangle on the right is a numbered display of all of the pieces of the still life – a sort of key
to the still life on the left. – Does it make you
more comfortable to see the original pieces in the model?
The bottom thin rectangle is a combination of numbers and letters
– reciting the children’s poem – “One, two, buckle my shoe...”
(See it on: Rhymes.org.uk.
Warning: pop-ups.) When we were children, we sang songs like
this. They were easy to remember, yet strangely enough, they often did not make any sense at all. Our minds were open.
We seem to have a constant need to make sense of everything
we see, say, hear and do. If we can’t make sense of it, we reject it, not only when we look at art, but in our everyday
lives. We reject ideas that are different from our own, people
who come from cultures that we don’t understand.
When we contemplate a work of art that is not realistic – or
figurative, some of us reject it because we don’t know what
to make of it. We often end up saying things like, “My 3-year-old
nephew could paint this” or something similar. While it is true
that there are some works of art that are a scandal, that are a farce, we also need to make an effort to know more, learn more
about what we are looking at – or just dare to try to understand it.
We are comfortable looking at a realistic painting because we
feel empowered by our ability to recognize skill – the more realistic it is, the more skill the artist
has. It’s easy and comfortable to understand. It is only when
we are forced to understand something that at first glance makes us confused, uncomfortable, unsure, that
we begin to grow. We must then make a choice: continue walking
until you get to a painting you can recognize, or stop and contemplate
what you are looking at, ask yourself how it makes you feel,
and then educate yourself so as to understand more about why
the painting merits our respect (or not).
“Life imitates art” – should we not do the same in our daily
lives? Or is it just easier to remain ignorant, and choose to hate that which we do not understand?
Still life – a picture or painting that represents inanimate objects. Cry out against – to
protest. Laziness – resistant to work or effort, prone to doing nothing. Figurative – in
art: representing or resembling a form or shape. Gesture – an expression
of an object or form with quick moving strokes. In and of itself – something
as it appears alone, by itself. Display – to present for others to view. Recite – to repeat and
say aloud something memorized. Strangely enough –
an expression meaning “as difficult as it may be to believe”. Reject – to refuse to
receive or accept. Scandal – a violation
of morality which provokes a loss of trust or faith. Farce – a poor and insincere
imitation of something. Dare – to be courageous
enough to do something. Empowered – to give
power or courage to. Skill - ability. At first glance - on initial consideration (idiomatic expression). Merit – to deserve. Remain – to stay.