Blog: How Does One Find “Self” and “Art?”

Christine Alfery

Posted on November 30 2017

Blog: How Does One Find “Self” and “Art?”

Featured image: Totem

Self and art need a purpose to be. They cannot just be the “in the moment” of aesthetics there is no purpose of in the moment other than that moment, there needs to be more. The self and the artist need to give themselves a gift of genuine self-esteem. That means knowing your work and yourself. Ask yourself how is it that you know your “self?” Ask yourself how is it that you know your “art?”

How has your knowledge been formed? Was it through discovery or did you latch on to another’s creation because you liked it, desired it, wished for it, and wanted to call it your own, your “self” your “art?” The other discovered their own truth – “self” needs to discover its own truth and your “art” needs to represent your “self.”

You are unique, original. Your art work needs to reflect that. You, yourself is a concept worth pursuing, defining and labeling as your own.

It is necessary for an artist to know themselves, their limitations and strengths; to care for and create a work of art. To transform the self that enables an artist to have the ability to create a work of art, one also needs to have access to a “truth” as to what constitutes a work of art. Truth, and knowledge of this truth is available to anyone who desires to be an artist. But not all want to be artists take the time to value and discover what this “truth” about art is.

Most artists want to believe, think that the aesthetic moment is all there is in the “truth” of art. Art is more than the purity of an aesthetic moment. Does art only represent this purity of the aesthetic moment?

Artists in the 60’s searched for this aesthetic moment. There were so many of them, along with movers and shakers of art during that time, such as Clement Greenberg and Peggy Guggenheim, that this purity established how art could be understood and known. Artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Elaine de Kooning, William de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell to list a few. The art movement that glamorized the aesthetic moment was labeled “ Abstract Expressionism.”

“Abstract Expressionism'' epitomized the notion of the self, the soul in an artwork. Questions that defined art were, is it unique, is it original, is it one of a kind? “Expressionism” glorified the self in the work because the self was defined as original, unique and one of a kind.

Today the “Expressionism” movement no longer has the power it had back then. Today “Expressionism” has been taken over by a self that is anything and everything. Which makes art anything and everything. And the concept of abstraction is following the same pathway.

So how can one find “self” to express “self” in their work? The criteria haven’t changed, uniqueness, originality, independence, freedom. What has changed is how those ideas are currently controlled or governed. To pursue self in art one must treat others as individuals, respect the uniqueness of their work, and not be forced to follow in the footsteps of those who want to govern how art and the self in art is understood and is to be governed.

To find self in art – one needs a purpose and needs to produce in their work this purpose. I find I ask myself these questions as I judge a work of art: does this


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