Our plans for going further afield to look at an art gallery this weekend were scuppered by a weather forecast of heavy snow for Saturday afternoon, so we ended up going to our local town where a commercial art gallery had just opened in the new shopping centre. Newly opened, they were offering glasses of sparkling wine and I not really sure if this enhanced my critical faculties!
The gallery was showing pictures from a number of artists and I guess I could describe my response to them in categories - ones I loved and would have bought had I had £xK spare; those I liked but wouldn’t necessarily want to own; Those I could see the appeal of but really weren’t my cup of tea and those I downright disliked.
I will focus on the first and last category. I think what those I disliked had in common was that I found it impossible to feel any kind of emotional connection to them. The first ones were a set of boats and reflections (I normally like pictures of boats) but they didn’t speak of the sea at all - was not at all surprised to discover that the artist grew up in the land-locked Midlands!
The second was a picture of a woman who I later discover was supposed to be a bride coming down a grand staircase. Everything was depressing about this picture the colours, the expression on the bride’ s face - she really didn’t look like she wanted to be there - the grand surroundings. I was astonished to discover that this artist’s paintings of brides were best sellers in the gallery. For me what the brides and the boats had in common was that they were joyless.
The two artists whose work I especially liked were Danielle O’Connor Akiyama and Nakisa Seiko. What I love about both these artists was their use of colour bright and glorious! Danielle’s picture was more abstract and Nakisas featured minimalist skeletal trees against brilliant deep blue skies. Both were modern, striking pictures which drew you in and made you feel connected and excited to be looking at them, both also had a Japanese influence.
NB this not taken with my camera but with a digital SLR I was lent during the week
Interestingly the third artist whose pictures would have I considered buying was very different. The artist was Henderson Cisc his pictures are of city streets notably NYC and London. What I liked about his work was the sense of urgency and movement the color which drew you into you into busy life of the city.
In thinking of what this means for my own pictures I can see elements of all three artists in my love of colour, structure and/or abstract, my preference for the unconventional and need for emotional engagement in what I am doing. I have also realized that I don’t much like complete realism ( at least in paintings) but much prefer an impressionistic view.