...serenity in motion

Abstract art, Don't understand it? It's alright, it is the reaction that makes it a success.

“Abstract art is really hard” I said.
“How so?” asked Aunt Ruth.

“Well, it’s like a car.  There are all these parts of a car that make it work.  The engine, the transmission, the differential,…. But, if you leave something out, people will still look at it and say; that’s a car.  Abstract art is like building a car that doesn’t look like one.  It can still drive but people look at it and say; ‘what the hell is that?’  If it is successful, it will take you places but people won’t see a car.”

She looked at me quizzically, “Ok?”

“If you did it right, people will stop and look at the abstract and say, ‘What the hell is that?’ The thing is, the very fact they stopped and looked at it made it a success.  It will still take them for a ride even if they don’t understand it.”

Realistic art has the primer built right in it.  Good or bad; you should recognize the subject.  Abstract art doesn’t have that in it, it just has the parts that make art good.  Those things are composition, value, balance, color theory.  If one of those things are done incorrectly, not only do you have something unrecognizable but you don’t have a piece that really works.

I went to an art college that thought realism was being lazy and cheating.  Because of that, I learned to appreciate abstractionism. I want you to understand how intimidated I am by an abstract artist.  Laura Pollack is one of those who I admire and wish I had the courage to emulate.  She does impressionism and abstract art both at the same time and she is amazing at both.  I suspect, she is so amazing with her impressionism because of her understanding of composition, form, use of value and balance; which comes from her abstract ablities. 

I hope you take the time to look at abstract art, I don't ask you to understand it.  If you form an opinion of the piece you are looking at, you have been affected by it.  You don't need to understand why it is, just take a moment to see it.  If you want to keep looking at it, if your eyes are wandering through the piece; you are looking at a successful piece of art.

Have fun, and don't worry; the only people who judge your reaction are those who are afraid of looking silly.

PS, click on Laura's name to be taken to her website; it's worth it!