and again some reflections on it
Today I would like to present a newer painting and originally I had no intention of writing about it, at least almost. Why this? This is related to a new, very pleasant acquaintance I made recently.
A customer, Robert, had ordered some graphics online and came by with his charming wife to pick them up. And that was a very remarkable encounter.
Robert stands out because of his imposing appearance. A person who sends out strength not only from his external appearance but from his whole being. Today he lives with his wife in Dubai and until recently had run a gallery in Spain (here is the link), a very special one, which among other things, also impresses by its architecture. Robert is also a painter. Though his work is quite different from mine, we were on the same wavelength from the start. All the more so since he is also an excellent connoisseur of Chinese antiques. And since I surround myself with Chinese antiques lavishly, there was a lot to talk about.
He came across my blog and noted on my (unusual) attempt to discuss, analyze and interpret my work myself that he would never do that, as it was the “secret” that every viewer should fathom for himself, would be ventilated uselessly.
Of course, this view has something of its own, and when I started my blog I considered and weighed up whether this makes sense at all. Actually, I don’t think it harms the “secret” aspect. I think a lot of my work has a lot of mystery about it. Nor do I reveal anything in the sense that anyone could go and imitate me. Rather, I have developed a technique that on the one hand opens up many design possibilities, but on the other hand, is very difficult to get a grip on.
So should I comment at all? And, what is really important to the viewer?
The title? Not really.
The “environment” of the picture? Rather, maybe: After a series of pictures that have captured everything that a landscape can show from heaven over the earth to water, I created this work as a counterpoint: out of the open landscape and into the mysterious forest, a microcosmos of its own. The main ideas are quite similar in both series though.
Since I am more of the philosophical type, philosophical ideas are naturally reflected in my work. So I would like to pay a little attention to one or two of them.
A European philosopher, with Austrian roots BTW, Paul Watzlawick wrote: “You can not communicate, because all communication (not just words) is behavior and just as you cannot behave, you can not communicate.”
I can very well remember how big the response to his book was – and yet it’s just old wine in new bottles. But no matter, quintessence: The moment I put a picture like this online, I am already communicating with you. And – following Watzlewecks thoughts – I express behavior. Now I can just show the picture alone, but I can also verbally convey ideas processed in it. I think that makes sense. What is basically fine and also works well with abstract images is that everyone can reflect in their own way. And we agree that what you see in it and what Ms. Li in Shanghai sees in it can naturally be two different things.
Now if I just cite this one idea of communicating by Watzlaweck, a certain impulse is triggered in the viewer. Suddenly he/she no longer just sees different elements in the picture, but first pays attention to the communication between the determining elements and, on further observation, discovers that even insignificant details communicate with each other and this way create something bigger. Even more, the painting just would not work without communication. Unfortunately, so-called abstract pictures that build on effects only without creating a conceptual superstructure, miss to transport thoughts and therefore miss to be thought-provoking.
What does my conceptual superstructure look like? Very difficult to tell in a few sentences and it is not necessary or possible to dissect every aspect. If I succeed/have succeeded in providing the inclined viewer with an aid with which he/she can reflect on thoughts such as communication (like in this case), that really s wonderful for me. The rest is up to the viewer.
One e.g. may think, that signing the picture in Chinese is a trick, or the painter wants to signal “Hey look, I can speak Chinese too!” But he/she now can just as well understand this “trick” as pointing to communication between the Asian and Western thinking in this painting and in general. And possibly, as tried in this picture, the moderately beautiful can convey more than the absolutely beautiful which eventually might make us think and reflect on the term “beautiful”. (Each of us can paint a bouquet of red roses and be sure that the majority of viewers would then describe the picture as beautiful. It is much more difficult though to paint a garbage can and still manage to create beauty). Someone else may use the picture to reflect on humility, and someone else may use it to reflect on mindfulness.
But if you’ve read this far, you know this all anyway.