The art you like is a shortcut to your philosophy. It really is. And you know, each time I say that here it annoys people. I mean it really annoys people. Which tells me that their view of art really means something to them: it touches their values – their own personal philosophy --- something deep inside themselves.
Which means the very virulence of the (over)reaction is evidence for the thesis.
You see, every choice an artist makes demonstrates his own values, his own personal philosophy, just as your reactions to what the artist has done demonstrates yours.
There’s nothing to fear about that, it’s simply the nature of real art. That’s why art is art: it has the power to tell us something about ourselves and the way we see the world. Not the way we might pretend to others (or ourselves) about how we see the world, but the way we really see it, and evaluate it.
“But how,” I hear you ask, “does an artist translate his philosophy into his art?” Good question. And fortunately for all of us, artist Michael Newberry is supplying the answers in a new addition to his art tutorials called ‘Connecting Your Philosophy to Your Art.’ His first post in this new series focuses on perception, using this painting below. He asks, and answers, the question: what do you think the artist’s evaluation of the value of perception is? What do you think it might be? And what clues in the painting make you think so? (Try to answer the question for yourself before looking at Michael’s concise explanation.)
Vase of Flowers in a Niche
Jan van Huysum, Dutch, 1682–1749
So, what do you think the artist’s evaluation of perception is? And what, dear reader, is yours?