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.