Can a child really paint abstract art?
It`s one of the most used comments by critics of abstract art, that all it takes is a five year old with a paint brush and they could create something that could compete with the worlds best.
Of course, for those of us involved with abstract art, we know that paintings are much more than just colours.
Anyone can throw paint on a canvas. I bet you did it at school, just like me. We used our fingers. Remember that! But, when you look back at those pictures (if you still have them), what do they say to you? They might bring a smile to your face but if we`re brutally honest do they tell you much about what you were thinking or feeling at the time you made them? Plus, what do they say to anyone else? People might smile or feel happy looking at them but let`s face it, there wasn`t a lot of meaning in them.
It`s the same if you let a five year old paint an abstract art painting. Of course, the TV shows and the critics of abstract art will show you a picture of something that looks `passable`. As an aside, can you imagine what all the others look like that they don`t show you!?!? But, ask youself, when you look at a picture like that, how effective is it as `art`.
If art is meant to provoke you and challenge something inside you, then a randomly created painting will only do that if the creator got very, very lucky. It might look nice but would you pay to have it in your house?
When we look at real abstract art, we can instantly sense the depth of thought and emotion that went into the picture. When you look at it, or buy it, you are not just getting a splodge of paint. You are getting something that has been created with a tremendous amount of work behind it. It`s not just how it looks. It`s also knowing the artist and the process that created it. The colours and shapes on the canvass are the end result of a long process.
Does that matter if it looks nice? Well put it this way. When you look out at a landscape in the countryside do you see a few piles of earth with green things growing all over it, or, do you see the magnificence of nature, the power of the wind and earth. You may not consciously think that but what makes a landscape so magnificent is not just what you see, it`s also the underlying knowledge of the epic forces involved in it`s creation.
It should be the same with original abstract art. When an artist creates a canvas, it`s much more than just throwing paint at a canvas. When real emotion and creativity has gone into the production of the work, the result is spectacular, thought provoking, enticing and remarkable. To feel the energy that has gone into that creation will always make it something to behold.
There`s nothing wrong with my finger painting of course. There`s nothing wrong with the art being created by a five year old. They are all a lot of fun. But, when I look for a piece of abstract art to inspire me, I want it to go much deeper than that. I want it to touch me. I want to feel `everything` that went into it.