Constructing the image, deconstructing the idea

Either you construct, rebuild and remodel your mind or someone will be happy to do it for you (I don’t mean this in a good way), so whichever the case our minds will always be either under construction or under influence. But that’s not what I’m trying to say. I want to look at this from an artistic perspective not the paranoid, social and cynical perspective. Needless to say that the way your your mind is constructed will affect the way you create, and the end result. But that is more of a psychological approach.

When talking about imagination, how does art and other people’s creativity interact with our mind, our perception? Why does it matter if their work is in a prestigious gallery? Does art really shock us into understanding some difficult concepts about the world we live in? Artists for centuries have tried to have their say about the world in all mediums accessible. But did that really have the effect they wanted? Did the viewers acknowledge something new about the world? Did their perspective change? Too many questions, but one thing is certain. Whatever the outcome, succesful or not, appraised or ridiculed, accepted or rejected, they never stopped creating. Why? Well for me it’s quite simple to understand that once you stop creating, and you stop the flow of inspiration… that is the moment when you start to dry up like a leaf. Painters have tied brushes to their paralyzed hands, artists have used their feet because they didn’t have hands anymore, and so on. All this because they knew, like I do now, that if you stop and give up, then it’s over. It’s all done and you start vanishing into common, pointless (samsaric) pursuits which neither lift your spirit nor give you balance.

What I’m struggling with right now is lack of studio, materials, peace of mind, money, status, time, connection, full of student debt, with little hope.. and so on. Now is that going to affect my creativity? Many in the past have used their misery and depression to create, and some now say that the modern artist does not need to be in a state of despair in order to create. I thought, I contemplated, thought some more and decided that by revolting and abandoning my own passion, just because I don’t have the “proper” idyllic setting for it, is probably the worst thing I could do to myself (there’s a quote from Startrek running around in my head now: “Resistance if futile” – well sometimes it actually is, especially when the thing you are stubbornly resisting to, is the only thing that can save you) . And so then I do what I do best, I improvise.

Getting back to the title, we construct the image (a sketch, project, painting …) while unveiling some very deep facts about ourselves. You can look at someone’s choice of line, theme, colour , subject matter and realize that you can deconstruct and interpret them all as signs, everything bringing you closer to understanding the emotion presented and what the person is going through. Now I know this sounds unnerving, and way too psychoanalytical. But art is about expressing something, a thought, a feeling, a moment of rage, inspiration that seemed to come from nowhere, It’s all there in the construction of the image. In the thought process of a developing sketch…

In the end, we must not try to please the audience, the gallery, our buyers, or even try to please ourselves, instead just engage your mind in a free search for expression. That is what really relaxes, and brings that feeling at the end of the project, when you get out of your world, and you realize that you haven’t eaten, drank or anything else all day. And say to yourself  “this is the greatest thing I have ever done”. Next step is to be able to get in that creative trance again.

Believe there is that inner refuge.


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