Art has been practiced by humans since thousands of years ago; we have remaining samples of paintings in caves and walls, stone carvings and many objects. The main characteristic of Art as opposed to the manufacture of everyday objects is that, were those have a definite USEFUL purpose, Art doesn't seem to. I'll explain.Making a tool to obtain food is an obvious useful activity. Spending a great deal of time and effort in "decorating" that tool doesn't seem to have an obvious purpose. And yet, humans have been doing so for thousands of years.Why? Probably we shall never know. But there is something inherent in human beings that make us do so.There is magic in creating, in transforming a piece of clay into a "thing" that resembles something else, in spreading paint over a stone wall and making images appear,images that other members of the tribe recognise and relate to.
That is why I paint. Because painting appeals to the magic unknown of human nature.
In European Art, mainly since the Renaissance (XV c. onwards), Artists strived to attain a representation of the visual reality as close to an optical view as possible; the Artists became very concerned with creating an effect that faithfully reproduced the visual reality.It is what we now call "realism".Great masterpieces were created; Velazquez, Rubens,Rafael...etc The more "real" an image became the more admired the artist.Portrait played a great part in this development.It was not until the middle of the XIX c. that impresionism broke with this tradition.What followed was a revolution, a return to the cave. Artists liberated themselves from the tyranny of the visual reality. No longer obliged to reproduce what they saw in front of them or to "make believe", artists returned to the stage of creating free images, of conjuring the magic.We arrived at the XX century.
But it is important to bear in mind that this pursuit of a visual reality, this "realism" is not a common occurrence in WORLD Art.It is a Western European phenomenon. China, Japan, India,Russia and miriad of other cultures never went into this reality worship.
I studied and explored oriental Art to understand their Art without the need for faithful visual representation. Van Gogh, Matisse and many European artists of the late XIX and XX c. were fascinated by Art of other cultures.
Today Art is almost in a clean slate:after nearly a century of cleansing, re-inventing, there doesn't seem to be a clear idea of what artists are about.There is a big disconnection between Artist and viewers, the artist and the tribe are no longer sharing the magic.
In my work I try to do something to remedy that situation.I want the viewer to see with my eyes, a different vision, but I want to convey the magic, the pleasure of the flat image....like the cave humans would have seen it....