Sometimes, while looking around an exhibition, I may purchase an artwork. They are mostly paintings, but the method and materials tend to vary. I don't think I have any particular insight in looking at art just because I am an artist, but there are definitely works that appeal to me. Some are abstract, some are portraits, and some are just ordinary landscapes.
These days, people might think of Bob Ross when you say 'landscape. However, when I look at his work, I do not see what kind of person he might be.
Jeff Koons' work is cool. When I see his work, it's fun and fantastical. Tesla cars are also cool. The "coolness" in Koons' work may be considered more important because it is within the art context. I understand his intentions, but to me, the artist is still not clearly revealed.
David Hockney's A Bigger Message may be a best-selling book, painting is not considered to be at the center of new trends in contemporary art. However, David Hockney can be clearly seen in his work.
These days, when painting may be considered as one of the crafts, can it still be interpreted as being modern? A majority of artists still may be painters, but the answer to whether painting can go beyond craft lies in whether a new esthetic standard can be established for painting.
Those at the center of the art scene tend not to notice the outer boundaries. From an outside perspective trends may change, but the reliance on style remains, and what may look 'new' may be just a variance in style. A century has passed, but it seems we are still under the influence of 'Modernism'. Even to this day, we debate the Modernist question of whether the artwork is innovative, whose work it may be similar to, or whether they should be considered copies. Whereas 'Modern' is about the new and revolutionary, Postmodern is about what is evolutionary.
Whatever the case; be it aesthetics or philosophy; be it the post of Postmodernism; even be it changes in methods and concepts; no matter how wide the spectrum for art is today; that breadth is only for the moment; and the everlasting center of art will still be the self-portrait that evolves with the times. A self-portrait that doesn't show what the artist looks like, but what the artist is like.
When you look at Van Gogh's many self-portraits, it may all seem to be Van Gogh but if you look at them individually, they all seem like different people. In Van Gogh's self-portraits, physical appearance is not important. What is important is Van Gogh as a person at that moment.
Recently, I had an opportunity to go to the Antonio Lopez-Garcia exhibition at the Tokyo Bunkamura Museum. Though he is not as well known in Korea, he is recognized as one of the greatest artists of this era in the West.subject of Lopez-Garcia's work are things he is especially attached to, such as people, his studio, cherished objects, the quince tree in the backyard, and the landscape of his home, Madrid. When we talk about attachment, we often think it will involve expressive, poetic, or emotional work, but his technique is overly objective and sometimes very descriptive, even coming off as being clinical. I knew he worked on site and did not use photographs or other tools for description, but when you look at his work, his contemplative and precise technique, and his objective approach allow for suspicion as to his expressive intentions.
This exhibition also showed many landscapes. The works that especially left an impression on me were the ones that looked unfinished. Because Lopez-Garcia has great descriptive technique, anything less than perfect can easily be thought of as being unfinished. However, I could not find anything lacking from those works. They are composed of clear descriptive stages from start to finish and uses traditional technique to narrow the figurative rendering. Even in works that seem unfinished, because of his thorough attitude and sincerity, the artist's presence is felt throughout. A self-portrait through the landscape, if you will.
Though I did not have the means, I had all the mind to hang his work at home.
When the self-portrait becomes important in the work, the definition of genre disappears.
Because the artist's thoughts, ideology, and concepts are not enough, are artists who continue to struggle with brushes and paints to find their 'self-portrait.'
Just as everything evolves, aesthetics also evolves. When you stand as a part of that evolution, you can be just as progressive and modern as the most current trends. Because the core of that evolution is still the artist and 'who' that artist may be.
In collecting, as in art, rather than being drawn by the work, I am more drawn by the person.
Press release courtesy One And J. Gallery.