Yesterday I finished a painting and posted it on my facebook wall. This is nothing new for now I treat my wall as a gallery as I do not think that I have reached a level to exhibit my paintings in an art gallery. This painting was special for it was the first time that I painted, not from a picture or photograph, but from my dreams literally. Some people say you cannot dream in colour, I do not know. But I had been seeing a red sun with brilliant yellow skies as a backdrop. Though I do not remember coming across a similar painting I do as a hindsight feel that may be the brilliant reds and yellows in some of Turner’s landscapes or Van Gogh paintings have had an effect on me. The red sun had been haunting me for sometime now and yesterday I finally managed to translate it on to paper.
The painting does not represent the reality as we see it and that is why I titled the painting as ‘Surreal Sun’. Surreal is defined as something that is disorienting and has the hallucinatory quality of a dream, something unreal. For me it was not a question of feeling happy at having finished a painting but one of fulfilment, one of having a translated a dream. The vision no longer occupies my mind.
A number of my friends have liked it and some have commented on it and they are my art critics. A number of them may have genuinely liked it, some may have done it as an acknowledgement of my effort and a few have felt something was missing. It comes back to the way we look at art.
In my posting ‘On Quality in Art’ sometime ago I have stated that -
“Our mind functions in two different ways while trying to understand a work of art. One is the through the direct experience of the external world, i.e the immediate perception of an image and through symbolic representation i.e the image plus its mental associations”.
Some look for the details and how close a painting is to the actual subject, some look for symbols and try to fathom the artist’s mind and some are simply overwhelmed by the colours. The evolution of art has moved away from the technical finesse and religious themes to subjective interpretations and impressions. An artist as technically equipped as Picasso slowly moved towards Cubism, his way of looking at the world. Art has moved from Realism to Impressionism to Expressionism to Surrealism and so on. At one point of time it was the patrons be it the church or the monarchy, who were largely responsible for the furtherance of art. As the paintings became more subjective it was the art critic who played a major role and still does for the selling of art to the extent that it has become a commodity.
Ultimately it is you who may or
may not like it, for each one has is own perceptions, like the artist himself.