water # 1-5 ~ all pictures embiggenable • all pictures µ4/3
Continuing with the last entry's questions.....
c.1930-31, Georgia O'Keeffe agreed to a debate with the editor of NEW MASSES, a leftist periodical, over his denouncement of O'Keeffe's new exhibition as being an example of bourgeois individualism. In an era when the debate in the art world was centered around the idea of whether an artist-in a time of economic crisis, aka: The Great Depression-should be creating social / cultural relevant art, O'Keeffe felt obligated to respond to his criticism in order to defend her work and the Stieglitz group's aesthetic.
During the debate, the editor, Mike Gold, contended that art needed to engage with and reflect the issue of the day which he believed to be the plight of the oppressed. When pressed by O'Keeffe, re: if women were oppressed, he answered that only working-class women qualified as such. O'Keeffe rejected that opinion and went on to state that artists were perfectly capable of expresssing their woes / concerns without creating the "glorified cartoons" that were in vogue with the editor and readers of the leftist periodical.
At that point-and herein is my point re: the last entry's questions-O'Keeffe when on to state:
"The subject matter of a painting should never obscure its form and color, which are its real thematic concerns."
OK. Anyone who has followed this blog most likely knows that O'Keeffe's statement pretty much explains my picture making M.O.. Color and form, independent of the depicted referent, is what / how I see and picture. For the most part, re: my "serious" picture making, the depicted referent is just a visual vehicle that I use to illustrate color and form-shapes, lines, colors and tonal relationships as organized within my imposed frame.
O'Keeffe went onto state, re: meaning ...
"So I have no difficulty in connecting that my paintings of a flower may be just as much a product of this age as a cartoon about the freedom of women-or the working class-or anything else."
That statement again pretty much reflects my feeling about meaning that may or may not be found in my pictures. Viewers of my pictures may intuit / interpret / deduce any meaning therein according to the sensibilities they bring to their viewing experience. Or, none at all.
In most of my "serious" picture making, I have one simple intent. To create for the viewer a visual encounter / stimulation. That written, I am aware that many viewers do have reactions to my pictures that go beyond the visual. Hell, when viewing my printed work, I have reactions that were not present in my mind's eye as part of my picturing activity.