Like a Puzzle
Weekly Report 31
I do not know how most people solve puzzles; I, for one, solve them in more sporadic ways. I try to find one area that makes sense, one spot that I understand how to solve. Once I solve that specific area I use it as a foundation for all other parts to be build off of. At times, though, I find another area I understand, so I end up having two or three spots being solved at the same time. I don’t know; it is so hard to focus on one spot and it takes way too long. Solving various places sporadically allows me to have a more holistic view of what I am doing and it keeps me engaged. Nevertheless, these few areas eventually combine and form one image. That feeling when everything comes together is undeniably satisfying.
This feeling is exactly what I felt during my rehearsal speech I have on Thursday. There were so many different areas I was concerned with throughout the year. I wanted to learn about the business of art, organization, risk taking, and meaning in art. All these topics seemed impossible to connect; honestly, I did not even try. Rather, I just tried to learn and process as much as I could about each area. This made it difficult to structure my speech for most of the year; all of it seemed separated. These last couple of weeks, though, have shown me what it all was building to.
When I interviewed Mr. Alvarado I felt excited, but it was a different form of excitement. It was passionate; I was stupidly engaged to the conversation! Really, I wish I could have spent another three hours talking and learning from such an artist. Three words stayed with me after our interview, “Sigue. Sigue. Sigue.” It means to keep going; It incentives one to keep following their passion.
That was it; those words brought it all together. I could see how everything connected. Everything was building towards my future; teaching me about the various qualities and areas where I was lacking. I had been building myself a path to follow; each area specified a different goal I wanted to focus on. I was reminded that the whole reason that I am taking ISM is to prepare for my future, and that each little thing I learn has an impact and teaches me something I can work and grow upon.
Reflecting my World
Weekly Report 30
This past week I interviewed Jose Ignacio Alvarado, a Venezuelan sculptor, and he proposed something I have rarely considered. He stated that to appeal to an audience, an artist must create art that reflects the feelings of a community or society. As obvious as that statement is, it still is something I have always dismissed. I paint because I enjoy doing so; I do not ever try to reflect my feelings in my art. However, it is my goal to give meaning to my work. Exploring how artists like Mr. Alvarado do so could help me at least try.
His statement made me think of two of my classes: AP European History and AP English Literature. He is right when you look at European artists after WWI and WWII their art always displayed a reflection of European sentiment during the era. Painters who followed Surrealist movements or Dada-like movements clearly show the disillusionment of post-war Europeans. Even during the French Revolution, artists painted art that reflected their revolutionary zeal and excitement; others, during the Spanish Civil war conveyed the nation’s agony. On the other hand, literature expresses timeless feelings of humankind. Look at Hamlet; it was written during a time in which playwrights like Shakespeare were heavily targeted by politicians in England. Huck Finn is also a great example. In it, Twain demonstrates the South’s denial of their defeat and ironic racism; a large part of the book is Twain’s criticism of this foolishness he saw in his post-American Civil War society.
Now that I am beginning to recognize the similarities of these examples I feel like I have crossed a barrier that was preventing me from seeing meaning in art. I understand and feel motivated to find the common feelings and attitudes of my community. I want to find ways to analyze and process the society I interact with and hopefully grow to express my thoughts to that society.