How To View Art

How To View Art - Abstract Art Explained

How To View Art  --   by JED PERL

Contemporary artists can make people look longer and harder; they must dare to give their work a complicated openness, a surprising particularity. For when people come to understand that within a painting they can find a time that is outside of time, they will want to keep looking. Only then will they see that while nothing in a painting moves--at least in the sense that sound moves in music or bodies move in dance--everything in a painting is alive.

And then the surface opens up, and effects multiply, and you see more and more. You enter into an intimate imaginative collaboration with the artist. If the very idea of instantaneous unity comes out of a feeling that in the world things can happen with this much speed, a more circuitous and layered way of looking suggests a release from the compressed, fast-forward pace of daily life, which has always troubled people, and surely does today. If you can unlock a moment, you can enter a realm of freedom. Artists show us the way. To look long is to feel free.  


Non-objective abstract art is unknowable. This is why we are tempted to look for objects in paintings where there aren't any. Hence, it is more of a challenge to create an abstract painting that has meaning. All the elements of good representational art should be present, namely color, form, composition, perspective, etc. It can be compared to abstract music (music where a melody cannot be discerned). Not identifying a melody in music is like not seeing any recognizable objects in non-objective art. Art that has to be explained has failed.

The following quotes aptly describe my method of painting


Concentrate on the act of painting itself, unimpeded by anything save the decision to paint.

This thinking rests on a well established principle - If a painter empties his mind of preconceptions and applies pigment with a maximum of  spontaneity, the images made would be an expression of the deepest levels of their being. Modern depth psychology appears to show that the conscious mind can exert a repressive authority on the unconscious, and that if it released its hold, the springs of feelings will flow clear again.
Art then becomes a method of SELF REALIZATION.  
                                                                                - - - Anthony Everitt in Modern Art

I often think that there's painting and then there are pictures.
The act of painting to me is more important than the paintings  themselves. Pictures are objects, the residue. The process itself is what calls me.
The idea of trying to create something out of nothing.

Evolution: Not only does the work evolve out of the painting technique itself, but the resulting images depict imaginary life processes in various stages of evolution from which new forms emerge.
I feel that this dynamic and enigmatic relationship that I develop is a symbolic equivalent for the interaction of human feelings and emotions. And since every interaction creates a reaction, my forms become metaphors for the infiniteness of human behavior as it is formed and reformed by events of the outer world.

I hope that the sense of discovery that I feel when I am making these paintings are passed on to the viewer.                     
                                                                              - - -  Steve Rubin, 2001

Need to engage in dialog


The artist wishes to engage in a dialog with any clients whereby he can personalize the painting to each client who can visit him in New York City or any other mutually convenient location worldwide.

In quite a few paintings I have completed I have found the dialog very invaluable in enabling the work to be more meaningful, substantive, participative and inclusive.

Verbalize the painting, try to compress a words and visions and abstract concepts into 2 dimensions that is the challenge.

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