I once heard, that the difference between Design and Art is that Design answered questions and Art asked them.
I often find myself in a messy situation. I feel a bit of coolness when I state that my husband is a fine artist. This is quickly dissipated by the impossible question: ‘what kind of art does your husband make?’ To which I respond with sad attempts of calling upon art references, comparisons and half-assed quotes from Artforum. This leads to the utterly disappointing argument about contemporary art’s inaccessibility, self-referentiality and all but complete irrelevance to modern society. From now on, I’m committed to admitting I have no idea how to explain my husband’s art and it’s best you see it in person. But let me warn: you may hate it or not get it. That’s OK, I thank you for taking the time to consider what you see.
I thank you because rather than dismissing all contemporary art as a bunch of elitist nerdism bathed in post-modern philosophy––art takes time. It’s a personal journey that collapses all at the same time when you experience a piece. That experience may lead to “Eh” or “Wow” (hubby says that is the phenomenology or affect of art… blah, blah, blah insert post-modern nerdism reference here.) In other words, for that pile of bricks to be more than just a pile of bricks, it takes seeing (in-person) a lot of art. Yes, you can walk up to a piece with no background and still feel something, like you would if you were to taste wine for the first time. But the more you taste it, the more sensitive you are to vast possibilities and layers of meaning in the work, therefore the more interesting and important it becomes. So, while I cringe when people argue that contemporary art is nothing but a pile of bricks, all I can say is that if you take the time to experience it, you may discover a really amazing journey.
(You may still dislike my husband’s art.)
And as my final gesture for this blog post, I share with you some artists that marked my journey and changed my perspective about art, and sometimes, life.