Tuesday, January 23, 2007


There’s a tribe in (I think) South America that has a different perspective from the rest of the world. They see the past as in front of them and the future as behind. Their thinking is that they cannot see the future but they can see the past as a memory. At a particular instant people cannot see what’s behind them but they can see what they’re facing. When the people in this tribe talk about the future they point backwards and they point forward when referring to the past. Once you understand their reasoning it makes sense.

If people can be so different, how can there be any universal useful symbolism? It seems to me that symbolism is entirely subjective. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like symbolic paintings. Symbolism just doesn’t add anything to the picture for me.

Emotions, however, are universal among humans. Nearly all of us experience the standard range of feelings and those can be brought forth with a well-done picture. I like art that does that. Emotions can bring forth deeper meanings to an individual when you have context. If you go by symbolism you could easily get things backwards.

In complete opposition to my own premise, I’ve done a symbolic picture. It’s not a well-done one partly because I don’t know what it means. Maybe it’s my statement on symbolism or some other fine art cock-and-bull. I leave this open to your interpretation.


Blogger Scott Altmann said...

Love this drawing...it's right up my allery for sure.

I don't think symbolism is totally a bad thing. I think if one does away with any preconceived symbols and brings a personal symbolism into the work it can make for an interesting picture. This way, you can still hold on to that emotional gut-punch we hope to achieve.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Tom Kidd said...

Nicely put, and an interesting idea. Sometimes when I express a thought it's just to see what other people think. As opinionated as I might sound, none of my points of view are carved in stone.

I've got some classic mythical creatures and some very silly stuff coming. It's a whole bunch of show & tell. That's all this blog is. There's no business plan here.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Konstantin Pogorelov said...

I agree with Scott. Personal symbolism is still universal in the sense that it doesnt come with a lengthy explanation on how to interpret it as we all know can sometimes be the case in this past century. I think there are people who love H. BOsch and those who dont now who he is ( until theyre reminded of that calendar they sa w at Borders) but none of them seem to miss the point. I also like your figure study.

6:02 AM  

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