Abstract art can be very exciting. By nature it must be avant-garde and often it comes with an amazing array of colors and textures. Unfortunately, it can also be intimidating. Who is to say what the painting really is worth or if it is just slop that monkeys could have orchestrated? We have all heard someone say of an abstract, “I could do that,” or the all to common “My kid paints just like that.”
What is it then that sets apart high quality, investment abstract art from low brow random expressions of color’s that have no dollar value?
The first distinction between these two groups is your own personal fulfillment that is provided by a painting. You are completely in control of this phenomena. Does it move you? Can you imagine looking at that painting every day?
Second, we have time as the dividing line for these two categories. Only with time will some artists rise or fall in to the priceless and worthless fields. Unfortunately, most abstract art doesn’t stand the test of time.
Many artists get caught up in one style or theme that holds them back from finding the center of their artistic soul. One artist, Sudargono or Gono does not struggle with this at all. Gono constantly redefines himself and his art; every few years he has evolved in medium and approach. He ventures often into realism to hone his skills and continues to grow. Already, he could rest in what he has achieved, being that he is one of the fathers of abstract art in Indonesia. Still, he reinvents! Last year he began working on his most original series to date, best described as an oversized pointillism. The textures and colors are magnificently intense!
Another separation in abstract art is education and experience. Is the artist a real painter? Many people try to copy the great abstract painters however, there is a great difference. Often it is simply the way the colors mix together, or the manner of textures in the abstract expression. These are subtleties learned from studying the masters and the time taken to experiment. Gono has quite a background in studying and painting.
Another well learned painter and experimenter is ?lan Vital. ?lan is based out of Maui and paints some of the most original art I have ever seen. He has an unbelievable resum? that includes engineering, psychedelic lighting design, fashion design, sculpting and painting. All of these things led him to his secret style. ?lan paints with pigments and gemstones ground into powders and mixed with aerospace enamel. This is the same enamel that is used to seal the stealth fighter. He paints using all this knowledge to make his own materials and ‘engineer’ his paintings with absolutely no use of a brush. Each painting has between 30 and 100 layers of his process. It is like a liquid gemstone psychedelic explosion. Utterly brilliant.
I have learned another important thing about abstract art: your opinion is valid. One doesn’t need to be a renowned critic to be a good critic. Every thing you see or feel is valid. I try not to ask the artist what he was painting. Instead, I first tell the artist what I see. Every thing you think you see is actually there! This is why I love abstract art. Abstract paintings involve the viewer in the creative process. The imagination of the art lover is just as important as the painter’s.