There are only two types of paintings in this world: those that capture an image and those that capture a spirit. I don’t understand how people can despise Abstract Expressionism or how they can look at a painting of splatters and see absolutely nothing. These people who scorn such masterpieces desecrate the humanness and life of these paintings by deeming them “trash.
” Indeed, Abstract Expressionistic artworks show nothing tangible or real, but therein lies its beauty. Truly, there are emotions that cannot be described by words and impulses that cannot be contained within the boundaries of “real art.” The artist breaks free and defies the rules of the frame. The frame is no longer the container of a scene; it is the witness of an event, a witness that tells all others of the tragedy, joy, anger, or perhaps confusion that is contained within its borders. “Ah!” a frustrated woman screams as she throws red acrylic onto the canvas.
Tears fall from her cheeks as she smears black over the splatters. This simple process is repeated all night until finally, she feels the pain ebbing. Numbly, she adds a finishing touch: a blue line starting from somewhere in the middle of the artwork and ending somewhere beyond its edges. Her freedom is come, and her soul is hammered into her piece. This and other scenarios, I find, race through my mind as I speculate the origins of goblet riddled and smear filled creations. Critics, however, rage on how any untalented “artist” with enough foresight to see the profitability of such art could splatter such paintings in minutes.
Frankly, whether or not art is a rendition of the artist’s soul is a trivial matter. The artwork has taken on a life of its own; it has its own movement, and it has its own soul. Every brush stroke is a melody, every splatter a note, every color a rhythm and together, these become a harmonious and fluid symphony. We as humans have become obsessed with talent and perfection. Yet, we are imperfect creatures that live in an unpredictable world.
We are changing creatures with chaotic tendencies. So why can we not find the inner workings of our souls within the chaos of Abstract Expressionism? While Expressionists may not convey their aptitude in replication, their artwork is the colorful, and otherwise hidden, manifestation of the human soul.