Parameters and Artists Do Not Mix
I have always felt that true art is about emotion, rather than information. This is not a new or especially deep theoretical statement. Emotion is talked about in art dialogue all over the world. In fact, it¹s considered in vogue to be in touch with your emotions, and express yourself from a gut level. From peace to pain, humor to horror; the artists of this planet are touching every edge of the emotional playing field. One of the prime goals of many artists is to capture an emotional response.
If this is so true, why are galleries and museums all over the globe, offering their space to artists that exhibit consistency in style and subject matter. Why are some of the best known and purchased artists, the ones whose works are repetitive in content and style. Starting with Norman Rockwell, whose paintings and drawings of family and ordinary people in every day life, are popular even to this day, but he was also considered an illustrator. Illustration has a layer of consistency and repetition to it. Then there is Leroy Neiman, who uses bright, broken strokes of color to paint the energy and verve of athletic events, a busy street scene or a gala evening at a casino. There is Bev Doolittle, who hides faces in the forest and R.C. Gorman who painted stylized representations of Indian woman. Now we have Thomas Kinkade, whose serene landscape paintings, infused with light, are reflecting spirituality to his buyers all over the world. These are all very fine painters and artists. They accomplished a dream that millions of others can only fantasize about. Yet, where is the creative truth and integrity in manufacturing great numbers of the same kind of art works. Pablo Picasso once said, ³The hardest part about being an artist is not copying yourself.² Artists live off of diversity. Through diversity comes inspiration, and through inspiration comes great works of art with a strong foundation in purpose and technique.
The real truth to one¹s art has to come from within. In order for the truth to come out, the artist must be given the freedom to travel any artistic path he or she desires. Parameters will only weaken the art and limit the artists potential for producing works that are true to its content, in turn making a greater impact on the viewing audience. The fore mentioned artists have all made a profound impact on segments of the population. It is very difficult to make such an impact on so many, and not be true to your art. They do not generally go hand in hand.