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Posts Tagged ‘James Thurber’

There a new piece on the easel right now that is at a point in it’s progress that has me chomping at the bit to get to work this morning. I thought, in the name of expediency, I would share a post from a few years back about trusting yourself when it comes to something like art. I know a lot of people who won’t go into galleries or museums because they think they don’t know anything about art and feel intimidated. That’s a shame because you don’t need to know anything about art except how you react to it. Have a look:

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He knows all about art, but he doesn’t know what he likes.

–James Thurber

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James Thurber Cartoon Art CriticThis may not technically qualify as a quote but who cares?  The message in this cartoon from the great James Thurber is so simply put and true and that’s what I am looking for in a good quote.

 And art.

That’s what I like.

In the past I’ve talked about how many people are intimidated by the idea of art, feeling that they don’t know anything about art.  This leaves them not trusting their own eyes and their own reactions to any given piece of art.

And that is a pity because art is mainly about the reaction to it.  Art is a reactive agent, reaching out and stirring something in the viewer.  All of the knowledge in the world about a piece of art cannot make you like that piece of work if it doesn’t first strike that chord that raises some sort of emotional response within you.

And I think most of us know within a few moments whether a work of art speaks to us or leaves us cold.  The trick comes in recognizing this realization and feeling okay with it.

I’ll admit that there are many celebrated works of art out there that do absolutely nothing for me.  They may have historical importance or elements of beauty or great craftsmanship in them but they simply don’t raise any emotional response within me.

I might be able to appreciate them but the bottom line is that I don’t like them, plain and simple.  That doesn’t mean I’m right or wrong.  It just means I know what I like.

And I accept that criteria from anybody, even with my own work.  While it would be nice to think that it speaks to everyone, I know this is an impossibility.  I’ve had people tell me that they didn’t like my work– in polite and respectful terms, thankfully– and I’m okay with that.

They know what they like.  And that’s good enough for me.

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He knows all about art, but he doesn’t know what he likes.

–James Thurber

******************

James Thurber Cartoon Art CriticThis may not technically qualify as a quote but who cares?  The message in this cartoon from the great James Thurber is so simply put and true and that’s what I am looking for in a good quote.

 And art.

That’s what I like.

In the past I’ve talked about how many people are intimidated by the idea of art, feeling that they don’t know anything about art.  This leaves them not trusting their own eyes and their own reactions to any given piece of art.

And that is a pity because art is mainly about the reaction to it.  Art is a reactive agent, reaching out and stirring something in the viewer.  All of the knowledge in the world about a piece of art cannot make you like that piece of work if it doesn’t first strike that chord that raises some sort of emotional response within you.

And I think most of us know within a few moments whether a work of art speaks to us or leaves us cold.  The trick comes in recognizing this realization and feeling okay with it.

I’ll admit that there are many celebrated works of art out there that do absolutely nothing for me.  They may have historical importance or elements of beauty or great craftsmanship in them but they simply don’t raise any emotional response within me.

I might be able to appreciate them but the bottom line is that I don’t like them, plain and simple.  That doesn’t mean I’m right or wrong.  It just means I know what I like.

And I accept that criteria from anybody, even with my own work.  While it would be nice to think that it speaks to everyone, I know this is an impossibility.  I’ve had people tell me that they didn’t like my work– in polite and respectful terms, thankfully– and I’m okay with that.

They know what they like.  And that’s good enough for me.

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