I came upon an article yesterday, suggested to me by the Google news feed thing on my smartphone.
Turns out it actually is a smart phone. The article, 4 Victorian Era Artists Who Made “Art for Art’s Sake”, about the Aesthetic Movement, has helped me realise that Art for Art’s sake is what I’ve always been about…
I’ve only read the first few paragraphs of the article, and may finish it or read more about the Aesthetic Movement in time…
I can appreciate art that has a lot of meaning, such as moral, political, religious, or philosophical and so on…or is even just meant to be thought provoking. But I’ve never felt the need to ‘say’ anything at all with my art.
Many of my pieces do have some meaning though. However, that meaning is usually a personal statement about my own existence and experiences at the time of doing the piece (kind of like a personal diary). That often helps give me the title. But it’s not a meaning that anyone else would get – and it isn’t the reason for creating the piece.
My work is simply for the joy and fulfilment of doing it, and for the visual beauty or interesting features of the piece itself, for myself and others.
Realising this properly now will no doubt help with my approach to my artworks. I might not restrict myself to particular types of subject matter or styles as much.
Painting above: Nocturne: Blue and Gold — Old Battersea Bridge by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, ca. 1872-75, via Tate, London.