Unlocking the Mystery
“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”
― Anaïs Nin
Back to the Beginning Part 1
This is my continuing study of art that distorts, smears, or obscures the faces of its subjects. I am trying to get my head around this art – in all its forms. It seems to me to be almost an art movement – there are hundreds of artists that do this type of work exclusively. They are men and women from around the world. They are educated, self taught, professional, and hobbyist. They work in all different genres from photography to sculpture. I think ultimately my goal is to understand what this art says about our world, the culture of our world. I think that collectively this art is saying something about this moment, I think that it means something beyond simply someone smearing their fingers through the paint on a persons face. So I muddle, picking through the minutia of art, looking at different works, parsing them for meaning, comparing them and writing ridiculously ungrammatical sentences. As always if you see your art here and want me to remove it please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will take it down right away. None of this art is mine. All art is attributed, and if you click on it will take you to the spot where I found it.
I have been thinking alot about artists, but what about the viewer, what about the people that consume art, the fans of art? I have asked quite a few bloggers why they post this art, why they like this art. I have thus far gotten 2 replies. One reply, to the above illustration was basically that they didn’t think the picture was beautiful but they liked it because it was mysterious. There is so much to be said for the mysterious. We are drawn to things that seem mysterious.
“It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed” Thomas Moore
Perhaps we want to know more about our own mystery, and as we try to understand ourselves we see the missing pieces of ourselves in the missing faces.
I used to think that when we looked at art, we saw what the artist wanted us to see. Now though I think we see ourselves. We can only see that through the lense of the artist, our culture, and our perceptions among other things.
If the face is blank, smeared, covered over, or dug out that leaves alot of room for the viewer, for me to fill in. The second response I got back about defaced art used the word zeitgeist. So next time . . .