Thursday, April 9, 2009

Don't Discount the Abstract Art

All too often when I am talking with someone about art, they complain about abstract and contemporary art. They say, "Anyone can do that. I could do that. Why would I pay money for it?"

The problem with their logic is that they aren't doing it, the artist is. Many people don't understand abstract and contemporary art. They feel that there is no artistic ability, and no talent that goes into it. However, it is a lot of hard work. Not every one can be an abstract artist. There is a different mind-set that goes with being a non-representational artist, that is for sure. But consider this: did you ever think that perhaps the artist is extremely talented, and simply decided to take a new direction? It wouldn't be the first time that an artist broke away from the mainstream rhythm of society.

Take Picasso, for example. He is world renowned for his fabulous works of art. Yet I have heard countless people exclaim over his lack of ability. Picasso had plenty of ability. He was quoted to have said that at the age of a child, he could draw as well as Raphael. This is a portrait of his father that he did when he was twelve years old. If you had mastered your profession at the age of twelve, don't you think you would try branching out?

Picasso's work gradually became more and more cubist. You can see the simplified shapes and distorted figure beginning to take form in "The Old Guitarist".

"Guernica" is perhaps one of Picasso's better known pieces. You can see the shapes are extremely simple and the forms distorted to the point of excess.

One of the reasons that Picasso began to use cubism is because he was able to portray his message much clearer. In "Guernica" he was able to depict the horrible devastation of the town when the Nazis unexpectedly bombed the town with no warning. The emotion and horror is far more tangible using distorted, simplified shapes and symbolism than if Picasso had painted a lifelike rendering.

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