Friday, August 1, 2008

Art & Arbitrary

I'm often struck by sudden and random connections between things I see and things I've seen somewhere before (even without wonky eyes). This is especially true when I look at photographs then images from art and other visual media come screaming out at me.

I tried to find some actual examples of pictures that suddenly reminded me of something else I’ve seen. Here are a few, all of which are also connected to the ocean by mere coincidence.

The Gorton's Fisherman

The Oyster Gatherers

Boats at bay

Though sometimes amusing (or disturbing), these correlations of visual perceptions require little more than involuntary mental integration and are basically arbitrary.

Art, however, is not a mere connection to reality, but rather a stylized representation of reality exhibiting the artist's values: an aesthetic abstraction.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a painting by Andre Derain, exhibiting his representation of "Fishing Boats, Collioure", 1905. (By the way, the bottom photograph above is a more recent view of the same place. )

I really like this particular example of Fauvism, with its thick paint application, bold outlines and deep colors reminiscent of van Gogh. I do not like the examples which approach Pointillism, a technique, when applied to an entire image, I find too disintegrated to be attractive.

Art is good.

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