Saturday, January 4, 2014

Contemplating Pictures on Walls

I think fine art is something to be contemplated and the best art invites the viewer to return to it and look again. Contemplation approaches stillness, and it’s through this condition that one truly engages with art.

But I sometimes read in art reviews and articles, and even hear from curators, how wonderful it is that we can now engage with art through various physical activities like pressing buttons, turning on lights or throwing things around etc, instead of looking at static pictures on a wall. But how shallow and even dumb have people become when they think like this? Great pictures are never static because they have the current of the mind pulsing through them. Looking at pictures on a wall is like reading a book. You don’t need props like buttons and bells to interact with the words because one’s interaction is done imaginatively, and pictures on walls need the same approach.

Fine art isn't a sport or a carnival sideshow and should remain that way.

The great paintings, drawings and prints of the past are relevant today because they express something eternal within them. Pressing buttons, ringing bells or jumping up and down doesn't connect you with that condition.

Shane Jones

David Hockney - Looking at Pictures on a Screen, 1977, oil on canvas, 188 x 188 cm