Sunday, June 18, 2006

What Is Art?

Yesterday I dragged Andrew to the Getty so he could "think about all he's done." (I thought that was kind of funny. He went willingly, and he didn't do anything bad or specific to think about.) Anyway, the Getty is the perfect place for artists of all trades to visit while in L.A. I've raved about the Getty before. It's a great place to disconnect from this crazy city and view fantastic works of art. It really feels like you step into Europe when you get off the tram (and not the smelly parts of Europe).

There's a whole lot to see there, so you've really got to pace yourself so you can appreciate the things you do stop to view. It's about quality rather than quantity. No reason to rush through and not really look at anything, especially when admission is free. Yesterday we checked out illuminated manuscripts featuring saints, martyrs and other holy folks. We also viewed this incredible "motion picture" by a French dude. That, coupled with hot tea and snacks in the open air and a trip to the cactus garden, filled the afternoon.

I always learn something as an artist when I go to the Getty. Yesterday I really looked at everything I viewed (I mean really looked), and I noticed that the artwork wasn't perfect. GASP! I know, I'm probably blaspheming according to someone because these are the works of masters that were recovered and shipped off to display at the Getty. How dare I! But I dare. Sometimes there were no fingers on the hands. Things were out of proportion. Some of the illuminated manuscripts were a bit Cubist-looking. Some of the faces were awkward. But with all of these flaws, the artwork still communicated what was intended. The imperfections didn't inhibit the communication.

I don't have to obsess with perfection in my work. I just have to make sure that my intention is communicated and not blocked by any flaws. (And you thought I was just going to rag on the masters.)

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