Real art doesn't need explanation

Published on 13 March 2016 at 11:02

Ever since I started my career as an artist, I've been annoyed by 'art' that needs a lot of explanation, in order to be more attractive to the spectators, or better to potential buyers. In my opinion an artwork needs to speak for itself! That's why it is called ART.

Art goes beyond languages and borders. It can unify people worldwide, and it can be an ice-breaker in difficult conversations or situations. At the same time it can define culture and cultural differences. Art can be beautiful, and even bring you to tears of joy, but it can also be horrifying and touch the deepest depth of your soul. It can make you wonder, irritate, incite, prickle, touch your emotions positivily or negatively It can be provocative or take you to another world. Through the ages, art has been used for propaganda, religion, communication, protest and nowadays also for publicity and as an investment. Imagine a world without art??? To me that is impossible. Sometimes you feel the need to explain to yourself, or others, why (an) artwork touches you. That is great, because you would love to share it with everyone. There is nothing wrong with enthusiasm and every artist needs encouragement and compliments!!!

I feel the need to write this, because everytime I visit an exhibition in a gallery or a museum, or watch a television programm about art, I am annoyed when an art-critic starts to twaddle about why, what, when, how and tell you what you should see, think, feel about it. Please let the spectators decide for themselves, if they are attracted to the artwork or not, and what it does to their feelings. Let them fill in the blancs by themselves... OR not! Of course, when you like the work of an artist, and your hear more about the meaning, reason why it was created, it can even become more attractive to you. But art that does not speak to you, touch you in any way at all, will not be more attractive after a long statement or explanation or thoughts, which say more about the speaker, than the artist or artwork.

I have to add to this that, in my opinion, it is absolutely necessary to keep in mind, in what period of history the art has been made. Because that part is very important. And I also think that art should be unique... not a copy of someone elses style!! However, when an art critic has to make an artwork more attractive, by explaining a lot, with many superlatives and poetic words, about why an artwork is so important, I think this says more about him/herself, than about the art. Sometimes a contemporary artist is hyped, because there are some investors behind it (follow the money)... and NOT because it is so damn interesting. Fortunately, because of the internet and social media, all artists have a much larger stage then ever before, and we can keep on discovering art that really attracks us. ☺

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