The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

If You Need an Explanation You Don’t Understand Art

As someone who has been involved in the creation of art, in one form or another, for most of my life, I have throughout the years been confronted with the fact that people question what I am doing. Combine this with being closely associated with other artists and it seems that the paradigm is the same; some people understand art as being art and others question the why.

In terms of art forms like writing: poetry, novels, and the like; and yes, writing is an art form, the inquiries are less obvious. A person likes the words, likes the style or they do not and that is that. But, as soon as you step into the other, more visual, realms of art: drawing, painting, photography, or film, then the questions become more obvious. But why? Aren’t the visual realms of reality the most obvious? Aren’t they the ones where a visual something is created? It is there. Yes, you can like it or not like it but its reality is true and pure onto itself. Yet, this is where so many question arise. I cannot tell you how many times I have encountered someone looking for something when the fact of the obvious is right in front of his or her eyes.

From my own personal perspective, I have encountered people questioning a photograph I took. Why does anyone want or need an explanation of a photograph? The image is right it front of your eyes. It is what it is. It is what it is in its purest form. Sure, you may like the image—sure, you may dislike the image but the image is what the image is.

In many ways this is the same with paintings. An artist has a vision in their mind; they attempt to place it on canvas. Maybe they like it, maybe you like, maybe neither of you like it. But, it is what it is. Why is there any need for an explanation?

Film is the same. The filmmaker creates a conglomeration of moving images, ties them together, and creates a film of whatever length. It portrays what the filmmaker could capture and it is true and pure onto itself. The filmmaker may like it, the people who took part in the production may like it, the viewer may like it or they all may not. But, like and/or dislike is not the definition of art—creation is the definition of art. If it is envisioned, if it is created, if it is done, it is art. And, art is art.

I am sure we have all been to art galleries where people are having some long bogus discussion about they whys and the wherefores of an artist they did not personally know. They attempt to define that artist’s reality not knowing the truth of their inner motivations. I am also sure we have each encountered people loving or hating an artist’s work and their questioning the why of the artist’s motivations.

If you need an explanation, you do not understand art. Art is art, it all stands on its own merit of creation. If it is create it is art. By this very fact, that should be explanation enough. Love it, hate it, want to own it, or discard it, that is all your personal choice. But, if you question the artist’s why of the art, you do not understand art.