Saturday, December 1, 2012

Can you name 5 women artists?

Before one can answer such a question, a few things have to be defined. At least from my perspective.
Can i name 5 artists in general? What do i define as an artist? Is music included?

Some would say thats irrelevant, and i agree with them, but for all the wrong reasons. I am critical of art. I know what art is and what it should do, as i wrote in my previous post. So if i was to create a list of my top five preffered artists, one, it would change depending on my current mood and my overall state in that moment in my life.

I mentioned music, since many art courses segredate music from all the other arts. Perhaps to the envy of painters, sculptors, thespians, music has an inherit ability that transcends any other art-form giving the listener the choice to interpret, to focus on each lead, each rhythm, each intonation and note.

Plus, music has the benefit of no words. Excluding modern music for the most part, it pushes the listener to generate his or her own emotional context. Any other art cannot do that.

Or can it? If art takes on the role of a loudspeaker at a rally or protest, it gives up that role. Its message is one and clear. It might have artistic value, but i do not see it as art. Of course that puts me at odds with most current artists, and critics since modern art is rife with political and social messages.

The image to the left is Gertude Kasebier's "Blessed art though among women" and below Cecilia Beaux's "Little Girl-fanny Travis Cochran". These are two examples that would fit into the topic of the question of naming 5 such artists.

But one could argue that could be the greatest insult to an artist, just being named based on gender, and not for the art itself that they produced.

I can freely admit that these examples dont resonate much with me. For one, i have never been a little girl, i didnt have sisters, so its like me trying to study Latvian poetry. Surely i can study the structure, the techniques, what meter is used and so on, but i would be missing the main point.

So all i can do is study the veneer of these pieces. Of course i can and do feel something, but it is detached and incoherent.

As i mentioned in my previous post, Georgia O'Keeffe does speak to me, and as opposed to the two previous ones, is not unknown to me. I have known her work for quite some time. My land lady even has a reproduction hanging in her living room.

But humor aside, the question i have, is this. Does naming five female artists mean anything to the artist herself or is it a political or social push? And that makes one ponder, how many artists visions have been corrupted due to a social movement, claiming to know the meaning behind a piece? We cant ask many of them for a simple reason. Like Victor Borge said once on stage "We cant ask Beethoven, because he's dead".

This brings me to the topic of my final assignment, one that not only has an artistic resonance within me, but also a profound personal connection. A woman that has taught my mother, and years later myself, a doer in life, but above all, an artist.

Did Surdu-Stanescu is the most well known sculptor hailing from Romania today, and one of the most well known and involved artists in Europe and the world. But that is besides the point right now. The question is the art. Woman is not displayed in a way that antagonizes man, but both complement each other.

I still recall now, looking at her works, and thinking any range of thoughts, from "i love it", to "i just dont get it". But the beauty of it is always there, its alive, grows and changes, as any good work of art, it should express itself, it should have a mood of its own, that can mean one thing today and another years later.

So can i name 5 women artists? I can, but if the question is can i name 5 women artists that move and inspire me,then i cannot. I cannot name 5 artists in general that can achieve this.And i dont want to change that, it is part of the mystique of art, and part of who i am at any given point in time

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