What do you want from art? What do you give with your art? Do you know what you do not want from art? Simple questions or complex? What is the purpose of art to you? Is it to entertain, educate, provoke, stimulate, inspire, motivate, surprise? Why do you look at art? What do you want other people to take away from experiencing your art?
When I hold a print in my hand, look at an image in a book, stand in front of a painting in a museum, or spend time in a photo gallery, I want to have an emotional exchange. I want to HAVE to respond in some way. I want an image to make me think. I want an image to make me feel. I want to be enlightened. I want to be disturbed in a positive way, a new way, even a negative way. I want to laugh. I want to cry. I want to be intrigued, I want to wonder, I want to want more. I want to be introduced into a mystery, or perhaps invited into a fantasy or a narrative where I might have to draw my own conclusions. I want to be filled with wonder and be mesmerized, fascinated and/or educated. I want my heart ripped out. I want all of my senses attacked. I want to be hypnotized by something I have never seen before. I want to never be the same because of the image I just saw. I want to be able to say, “Damn, I wish I would’ve thought of that, I wish I had shot that … where does that come from?” I want to never forget that image. Ultimately, I would like to be the artist responsible for the unforgettable, emotional image described above.
What I don’t want from art is what I have seen before, the mundane, the obvious. I do not want to be bored. I don’t want to drown in the vast sea of mediocre images produced these days. I do not want to see what everyone else sees. I do not want to see an image that my mother could’ve taken. It has to be more.
Keith Carter demands “opera” from pictures. “If you can’t give that to me, I am not your audience, and you are not mine.” Nice analogy.
I guess I demand a lot from art. What do you want? What do you give?