Blog: Don’t Fence Me In

Christine Alfery

Posted on August 07 2017

Don't Fence Me In III  by Christine Alfery

Featured image: Don't Fence Me In III

Free will is about our mind’s freedom to think or not to think. Using our mind is really the only individual, unique “freedom” we have. The choices we make are determined by our mind and what we think about along with just having the freedom to think. Having the freedom to make choices is important because the choices we make determines our character, our lives our sense of like. Thinking is not something that happens automatically, through instinct.

Art also is not something that happens through instinct.  and values are not something that happen through instinct. To make art, to have a code of values defining art requires thinking. To value something like “art” means you must think about “art” and why it should or should not have value. How is art valued today? If freedom is one of arts values, that means we must think about art and how it reflects freedom.

Artists know it is just fine to think outside the box. Art is about thinking outside the box. Art should not be about worrying if I am thinking about a certain rule, and asking myself, have I done it correctly? It should not be about the correct way, the “right” way. The only right way should be, have I taken a risk, have I thought outside the box, have I explored presenting this idea, this concept differently? Have I changed how we can think about this concept, this idea? This is the freedom that should exist in all art, in representational art, and in abstract art. If this freedom to take risks, to think outside the box does not exist then an artwork is not inspirational. If this freedom to take risks is not there then there is no movement in art and within our culture. There is very little movement in how art is understood today, it is trapped by the idea of correctness, the correct way to apply paint, the correct way to create form, the correct materials to use. In the 1960’s artists rebelled against the correctness of how to do something, landscapes were done differently, what we saw was not only the big picture, but the mini picture of things, and how artists thought about what materials to use. This taking risk is missing today, many individuals who want to be artists are afraid and concerned about the rules. The art work that is judged as “art” displays no fear, takes risks, and breaks some rules. Does this make all work that follows those rules is art?  Hummm once they become rules, there is no risk, and in turn no inspiration to flourish with different thinking.

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