Friday, September 14, 2007

Art as Expression of Spirituality

Today is one of the remaining days for the Monet to Dali Exhibit as it closes on Sunday, 16th. I went this afternoon specifically to see this exhibit. It was about the Impressionist, Post-impressionist, Modernism, and Post-modern artwork, featuring Picasso, Cezane, Monet, Dali, Degas, to name a few. Some of the works were portraits, others were nature scenes experimenting with lighting and visualization. The famous statue "Thinker" by Rodin was also there. It was smaller than I imaged. Rodin's statues were profound, with explicit detail, and muscle definition in the human figures, and facial features.

The second exhibit was less appealing. It was House of Oracles: A Huang Yong Ping Retrospective. It was not really to my liking, I guess because I didn't really understand the purpose of it. This exhibit is/was controversial. This I realized when I saw a new part "Media, Blog and Email" which featured videotaped newscasts detailing public outrage with this exhibit. As you can see from the picture of the "cage", it is an exbihit about animals. The "cage" as I call it, featured live animals. Not while we were there. The emails, newscast, and newspaper clippings displayed detailed the outrage and disgust that many people felt from seeing live animals -- bugs, iguana, spiders, etc, in the "cage". SPCA protested vehemently. Even without the animals, it turned my stomach. One display that did interest me was the globe that the artist had taken apart, unraveled and had in a spiraling string. The different countries were labelled with pins marked with past and future events such as drought, extinction of certain species, earthquakes.. and other natural occurences that affect our climate and hence our animal species.

There was another exhibit, Andrea Zittel: Critical Space, that reminded of IKEA products. The artist was making a statement about the way we live our lives -- the space required to function. Most of the creations were "boxlike" contraptions that had bed, kitchen, computer room, bathroom. Interesting statements, but still a little wierd.

I now understand the statement that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Some things are a thing of beauty, appeal to some, but not to others. I prefered the Impressionist and post-impressionist features. Cubism (Picasso's work) was a bit odd. Perhaps I have preferred artwork/media of portrait, nature scenes as opposed to abstract. Which is probably why I was glad to end the tour by seeing the works of Emily Carr and the Group of Seven. I liked the deep green of Emily's work.
Art is but one form of spiritual expression. Art, such as painting, sculpture, and poetry, are a way to express one's soul. Artists often state that they "created" whatever because "it was in them and they needed to get it out". To express the essence of what was in their soul. One of the artists stated that we find a need to organize things to make sense of them, but just because you find a system that works for you, doesn't mean that you can/should impose on the world as the only way that works .I guess this can apply to the variety of artforms. What appeals to one may not appeal to another, hence the statement "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

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