Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

An attempt to climb Mt Impossible

Ever tried to explain why you bought a picture? Objectively? Honestly?

The one I have in mind purports to show the natural world. Except it doesn’t. The random colours, lines, shapes and shades that constitute nature have been replaced by an ordered view. Ordered but not predictable. An order that carries the type of logic that is just about detectable in a language you do not understand. For this is a work of art, and that’s a fact not necessarily a compliment. The word art has links with artificial and artifice.

From 3 m away the picture is seen as a pattern, not of course symmetrical. A pattern defines something that is whole. Closer examination reveals that the logic – recognised if not understood – is worked out so that all parts combine harmoniously to create the pattern. The pattern in no way resembles any other picture I know but the certainty of its logic does.

The picture is unique and matches my untutored prejudices. The decision to buy is not based on the desire to own but to live with the picture, an important distinction. Buying refines the assessment processes; it tests their validity since there is nothing sadder than a picture that has managed to dupe itself into acceptance.

Pictures change because we change. This one already has. Once it consisted of a foreground containing the subject matter and a small, much darker background. The latter is now more dominant by, paradoxically, becoming more distant. There is now a sense of “out there”. I have tried to avoid subjectivity but I must accept a newer brooding quality, even confrontation. The picture would not look well on a chocolate box.