Monday, May 9, 2011

Honesty in Art

 I got to work in my local art guild's gallery for the first time. It was nice. QUIET. Much, much quieter than at home. :)

Anyway, while I was there a man came in to buy a metal sculpture of fish that he has seen earlier. He was so excited to buy this sculpture! His wife was walking behind him chuckling at how much he loves fish. I could tell he loves fish! As he was checking out he was looking it all over musing on how he would hang it, then he found a pine needle on it which delighted him because it seemed to give him some clue as to how the artist made the piece. Left it out in the sun perhaps? He was delightful. As he left he mused as to whether he should send the artist a picture of where he puts it, do you think he would like that? Of course he would like that!

It got me to thinking about people who buy art and the responsibility of us who make art. These two men, the artist and the buyer, both apparently love fish! And some how that love of fish connected them through this piece of art and the artist made this other man very happy by enabling the buying man to give voice to his love of fish!

I just thought that was kind of cool and reminds me of the calling of an artist. In a way you are aiding people to give voice to their loves and feelings by giving them form and color in a way that conveys more than what the actual thing just looks like in real life. That's why I'm not a fan of super realistic art. There should be something else there, something more. Something that not only says "fish" to the fish lover, but emphasizes what they love about fish.

I guess this was all the more striking to me because I am not into fish. All the while he was buying it, he was so delighted and I was just thinking "fish".... But that's a good thing. His new piece spoke his language to HIM. It wasn't for me anyway. He and this artist were having a conversation of sorts (though the artist was no where around) and all I was to do was to help him facilitate the conversation (Mainly by taking it off the wall and putting it in his hands and leading him to the cash register as he was just kind of gazing at his fish not knowing where to go..) and get out of his way!

Anyway, I found him delightful. I think God gave me that experience to show me something. I want to keep my art fresh and honest. So when somebody thinks enough of it to engage in conversation with it, it will be an honest heart felt chat. :)


  1. From one artist to another, thanks. This is very thought provoking. I think also of when one Christian meets another. There again is this sense of unity or like-mindedness of spirit.

    It's about relationships that we form, I think. You saw a passion in the buyer,and the buyer saw that same passion conveyed in the art he chose. The passion conveyed into the art piece! I think that's what you and I long to do also.

    May our art convey God's heart and delight the seeker in the same way.

  2. That was a neat experience of passion and art colliding. The artist needs ability and gifting from God, but the collector needs a bit of fate for this to find their vision expressed by an artist. It is different than just seeing art and saying, "Oh that is beautiful". You just know in your heart what you love and you wait for that rare moment of coming upon someone else's expression of that passion or love.

  3. This reminds me of the salmon sitting on our mantel. The year before we moved, we wandered into a little shop on the coast. We never go into little shops. And there was this glass salmon. As we browsed we just kept going back to it. We never buy art and the next thing we knew, we were walking out with a gorgeous glass salmon.

    And the next year we moved away from the salmon coast. It's a treasure to us in many ways. I'd love for the artist to know that.