What is This ?

What is This ?

  • Posted on: May 31, 2016
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By Jaya Sharma

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“What is this?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions by most of us when we see an Abstract Artwork. The answer to this question might not be easy to answer but it is quiet easy to figure out the reason behind this question. Abstract art in general is indeed abstract. Its relevance and significance can only be understood when we know its basics and that is why I am writing this blog.

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When I saw an abstract artwork for the first time, I could not find a reason to appreciate it.  It was just some random lines and colours spat on the canvas. To me, it was in no way pleasing to the senses, let alone holding a meaning or significance. I tried understanding the opinions of those who have an appeal for abstract artworks. After talking or rather it will be more apt to say that after several sessions of arguments with others, I felt relieved as I reached to a conclusion. I discovered that Abstract art is not a mere game of long colourful strikes or vibrant geometrical shape, but it focuses on something more deep, something that explores and experiments with the concept of reality. To one, what might appear as a bright golden spot, might be the hair of Goddess Sif (wife of Thor), or millions of stars of Milky Way. As American author Jennifer Estep writes in ‘Deadly Sting’: “Art should look like art, trees and flowers and people, not weird shapes and splotches of color all smeared together.” Say there is a red triangle; what do you see? Maybe just a triangle, maybe Santa Clause’s hat, a slice of pizza or red velvet cake, the possibilities are endless. It was quiet a realization.

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I realized that the secret method to appreciate an abstract artwork is staying away from the two “W’s”. First one is What? What is this? What does this mean? And the second W is, Why?  Why did the artist create it? Why does it even matter? If we abstain from these two W’s then understanding an abstract art becomes fairly simple. The only thing that really matters is what one sees in that art. What one believes that piece of art is, it is the way in which we perceive it but not in the way we want to.  It can never be restricted to a limited and defined set of ideas. It can be anything and everything. So, next time you see an abstract artwork just try to think like yourself.

Reference link: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/abstract-art