In art progress consists not in extension but in the knowledge of its limits. –Georges Braque

Upon reading a recent commentary by Brooks Jensen concerning a piece of art created by Bruce Barnbaum this sentence struck a chord with me. “Art is not a thing of volume but of depth.”  What a great way to put it. Seems so simply put. I struggle at times attempting to put a simple description to what I believe my art should be. Something about seeing it written that makes it more relevant.

One may think depth, as with the art itself is subjective. I don’t believe the depth of ones art is subjective. I believe it to be statement made by the artist. Rather the interpretations of depth, as with the art are possibly derived from the depth, but the depth is what the artist gives it.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. –Albert Einstein

Today depth in art is an afterthought. If even thought of at all. I am speaking of the vast amounts of photography that seems to overwhelm the public eye. There seems to be a push by many who claim to be photographers or artist to push more “stuff” in front of their viewers. As if to say; the more I give people the more popular I will be. Yes that word again, “popular”. Some just can not seem to get past the desire to be popular. This is not a knock on popularity, it is an insight on how to get there. More is not better. Today with photography the exact opposite seems very true. More is a problem, a big problem.

The ease at which an image can be had then immediately placed online is almost like give the key to a pharmacy to a drug addict. Fast and easy for them today, detrimental in the long run for all.

I wonder what it will be like 5, 10, 20 years from now. At this rate finding good art will literally be like finding a needle in a haystack. I am fully aware of the objective nature of art. Because what one person likes another will not. Furthermore there seems to be an eminent ease at which images, any image can be put right in front of your face, at any time and from almost anywhere. All while relaxing in your own home. But there is a way around this. Don’t get caught up in the volumes of photographs that abound places like social media. Find what you like, be steadfast with what you like and weed out all the overgrowth that gets shoved in your face.

I don’t mean this to sound combative, but I don’t want it to sound passive either. We need to know ourselves well enough to allow more of what we like, what satisfies us, and touches us on a deeper level. These are the things we need to be priority in our lives. We need to be curious of new ideas new ways of interpreting our world, new ways of seeing our world, without the need of wading through the muck and mud. In addition we may have to begin swatting the flies out of the air while being careful not to hit the two or three butterflies that are mixed in with them.

When the world becomes a massive mess with nobody at the helm, it’s time for artists to make their mark. –Joni Mitchell

Be choosy, be particular, don’t give in just because it is easy, or nice. If you don’t like something move on, don’t dwell on it or the artists. When you find something you like, praise it, support it, support the artists. Good does not get great by ignoring it.

Kansas Flint Hills

Washed In Gold | ©Brad Mangas


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