|Old opened oak. Photo. 2010. Markeaton park. Derby.|
I cannot stand elitism. The false mystery created by high-art priests, circling in their cliques and separating new clothes for emperors only. What is this hierarchy that makes one human animal more capable than another, to experience a work of art. The term "dumbing down" baffles me. I value the comprehension of clear expression. Specialisation and intellectualism are commendable pursuits, but if you really understand, exclusionary terminology can be put aside. Isn't that the wonder of a picture, that it can give you it's thousand words in one physical blast of interaction. A resonating mirror reflecting a journey.
|Mona Lisa. Leonardo Da Vinci. 1503 - 1506.|
What is it about the Mona Lisa's smile that has intrigued for centuries. What is the answer to her enigmatic puzzle. This is the kernel in art I am searching for, the key to the doorway back to the source of inspiration. A portal through to the mysterious state the artist once inhabited. It is a rousing of something deeper. A clue of what it is that makes us more than mere functioning automatons.
|Inside the oak. Photo. 2010.|
I wander through exhibitions like a criminal archaeologist, searching for meaning in the layers of paint, still infused with a residue of creation. Google art project is a wonderful find, enabling you to walk around and zoom in and out on the artworks. Turner's fingerprint caught for eternity in a watercolour. Bits of sand, rock and leaves caught in the paint when Monet painted outside. Such physicality and immediacy can connect us to a place and time, the story of the room, the brushes, the process.
|Interior at Petworth. Detail. JMW Turner. 1837.|
I have always been fascinated by forgery. Although an art of deception, a forger's intense scrutiny and accurate execution must give them an enviable closeness to the original artist. Whether by sheer craftsmanship, imagery, scale or use of colour and medium, art in all it's forms can open our perception.