Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seen And Not Seen

"Winter Storm Approaching"
oil on panel, 2011, Denis Gaston
Looking at art is different from seeing art. Looking at art can be a casual glance as when one scans the environment while walking, taking in the barking dog, the mailman and passing traffic.

When a person enters an art gallery, they quickly look all around until a certain piece catches their eye. Standing before the work, the process of seeing can begin. The painting’s content, color and composition actively engage the senses. Questions may arise and some kind of appreciation begins forming at a subliminal level.

If a certain art work affects us in a profound way, there can even be a physical response.

Jackson Pollock’s paintings take our breath away. Renoir’s color drenched pieces convey joy and contentment. Seeing art in this sense, is analogous to understanding it, not in some bookish intellectual way, but as a more personal and satisfying experience.

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