Thursday, June 01, 2006

my 2 cents

I want to comment on the comments and Liz Berg's really struck a chord with me. What is Meaningful Art? Does that mean that it has a meaning in it, a social commentary or visual statement about something or other? We frequently have discussions about only art that comes from soul has any meaning or that making "pretty" art isn't really meaningful. I find that I spent 30 years working with some of the worst people around (sex offenders) and now I just want to make beautiful colors and lines and shapes and hopefully others will enjoy viewing and thinking about those lines and colors and shapes. Is that meaningful art? I was going to get to it myself and I think I had a rant on it in an earlier post: art that matters? Good grief -- a can 'o worms. Matters to whom? Ted says that unless your art engages issues that other people care about, it won't matter to them. At the same time, your art should have meaning to YOU, the artist. Does this mean that unless there is content - either implied or overt - it is irrrelevant? Redundant? Meaningless? NOT art? LizzieB - I would love to be able to make work like yours: line, color, shape, texture - visuals that work as compositions. No angst. No emotional issues. Nothing haunting. But I can't, for the most part. And I don't believe for a minute that your work is without meaning: it matters very much to you that you create an antidote to the ugliness you've been involved with as a probation officer. Your goal is to involve the viewers, make them happy, and stimulate them with a visual experience of color/line/shape. Lisa Call's work explores something that matters to her-- and while the content is not in-your-face, it is there -- and there is an underlying purpose.Structures series explores - what? organic lines/figure-ground relationships? nature? Her work is abstract and - uh - structured. (Help me out here, Lisa - I'm digging myself into a hole -- and stop laughing!). Just because I wouldn't know what Lisa was exploring unless she told me, it doesn't mean her work is not ART. I envy the abstraction.

And that's all I can manage for tonight. Tomorrow, I have to be out early to go to the SOFA NY show at the 7th Regiment ARmory. SOFA stands for Sculptural Objects & Functional Art. The really big SOFA show is in Chicago, but this one's closer.

5 comments:

Karoda said...

I just learned about SOFA a few weeks ago...I hope to make it to the Chicago show.

I'll be checking frequently to catch the discussions with Ted Orland.

Lisa Call said...

I posted a comment on my blog in answer to your question Rayna. Great discussion.

Here is the link to the post:

http://blog.lisacall.com/2006/06/meaningful-work.html

Rayna said...

Everybody, be sure you check Lisa's blog for her comments on her work.

connie akers said...

Can't "Content" just be Beauty? Having taught art for 30+ years I've struggled with all the issues and questions and still don't have THE answer. I haven't read Ted's books but do intend to for the sake of enlightment and discussion. Thanks for the links to SOFA artists. Someday I'd love to see the show

Kim Power said...

Hi Rayna: Just got the book and I'll be delving into it tonite, or today if the sun decides to give into rain. Making art that matters: this query gave immediate rise to this "life that matters" (and is therefore interesting, art being my life and life art). It seems that art matters in different ways for the viewer and the artist. Ultimately, I think it is important to make art that matters to you, whether it be more design oriented or content oriented or both. When I make art that doesn't matter to me, at least in some small way, it always seems to be missing something, my heart mostly. I've been searching for just that thing lately, what matters to me and therfore turns me on to make a statement about in my art. Good discussion!

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