Sunday, August 14, 2016

Be Surprised

A Tale of Love, Mixed Media, 34 x 24 x 4 inches

I like to be surprised by my creations. That is, to be so involved while creating, I “disappear” in the work.  When I re-emerge to take a look, I might be amazed.

I can be astonished by other peoples reactions as well. This happened recently. I have a new art gallery in a mall off the main plaza in Santa Fe. It has big windows so pedestrians can see inside and view the art hanging directly in front of them. When I first opened, I hung my new work of mixed-media pieces in front of the windows. I hoped that they would make an impression. Later, friends came by and suggested I put my better known landscape paintings in the windows. I obliged. 

After I made the change, a fellow came in and introduced himself as a partner in a business down the hall. “I am glad you made the change,” he said. “There was a piece in the window that was creepy. Where is it?” Then he walked to the backside of the panels and said, “Here it is! Ugh This really creeps me out!” His skin crawled as he pointed to the dolls. I had to laugh, because it never was “creepy” to me.  (I am laughing to myself now, as I write, just recalling this.) 
The next day a woman came in and went right to the same piece and spent considerable time studying and admiring it. 

So why the different reactions?

I claim a piece a success in as much as it gets strong reactions. Weak or badly done art does not warrant reactions worth talking about.

Four Hangups, oil on linen, 28 x 30 inches,
Some years ago I made a series of paintings called HangUps. They always elicited responses—some highly positive and some negative, but always a reaction. One of those paintings is now in a museum in France. 

VanGogh All Hung Up, oil on linen, 22 x 24 inches,
In the collection of Foundation Van Gogh, Arles, France

And that is art.
Diana's Song, Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches

For more on the mixed-media pieces, see my previous post: Walk A New Path

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