Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How To Read Artistic Innovation In Fine-Art Oil Paintings

Definition of Innovation
Innovation can be defined as a new way of doing something. A process that may change the way wethink about a problem in ways that can be viewed as emergent, radical, or even revolutionary.

Innovators are often referred to as pioneers in a new process of executing an old task. It is thefinal process that shows the real value in innovation, and the experimental phases and sweat equityleading up the final phase that create what one would call a stroke of genius.

For example, Picasso did not invent painting, but rather give the art community a new way to thinkabout an old problem: how to render a three dimensional object – form. The innovation in answeringthis problem falls in challenging the traditional definition of what makes a form a form.

The result of Picasso’s sweat equity and experimentations created a new process in creating a form.It also redefined what a form means. This process was picked up by other artists and became known asCubism in the 20th century avant-garde art movement.

Artist Statement
For an innovative artist, his or her Artist Statement must be clear in defining the problem statementone wishes to solve. It should also list a collection of experimental options he or she has or willtravel down.

It is the artist’s defined theory and list of conjectures that need to be proven true or false thatmake up the heart of the Artist Statement. This information is the core communication message betweenwhat the artist is trying to do, and an enthused art patron interested in understanding the artist’s work.

Body of work
A collection of artistic work is created during the experimental phase of innovation. It is criticalthe Artist Statement is updated and revised during this process and as the process comes to closure.

Once the artist is able to solve the initial problem defined in the Artist Statement, consistency needsto be reflected through consecutive works of art over a short amount of time. Looking back in hindsightat the body of work, the artist will know if this process is coming to an end and the craft is being matured.

Putting it all together
I can’t recall how often I heard “my child can do that” when looking at a Jackson Pollock painting. The truthis perhaps they could, but with a little bit of luck. Not to mention a lack of understanding in its socialmeaning and impact.

It is highly unlikely that the masses would see value in such a one hit wonder.

What the art patron who is not familiar with a given artist needs to do first is read the artist’s statementto understand what he or she is trying to do. Once you have an understanding of the artist’s objectives,review the body of work in sequence to see if they have accomplished their set goals. In reading a body ofwork, you are looking for consistency and predictability.

This knowledge will be priceless in making an investment into the artist as a collector, benefactor, or supporter.

For more examples on this topic see

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