“You, as an artist, have the greatest responsibility of all.
You are charged with trying to make people feel, in a world that tells them not to.” – (I Wrote This For You)
I have two diametrically opposed sides to me. One is logical, scientific, predictable. The other is emotional, magical, spontaneous.
So when I was progressing through the education system, I excelled at both Sciences and Art. More recently someone referred to me as ‘a true polymath’ (I had to look it up here).
In school I took two ‘O’ Levels in Art (2D and 3D/Pottery) instead of doing Physical Education, as this was the only way for me to be able to incorporate Art into my schedule. The Sciences were clearly the more lucrative area to be studying in. Computer Science was just arriving as an actual subject at school. My Mother suggested it would be a really good idea to get into it, so I did (something I have no regrets about).
My Art teacher would have liked me to pursue Art further, predictably. I was told my work at the ‘O’ Level stage was too detailed, she wanted me to go on to do ‘A’ Level Art. I had a limited schedule at ‘A’ Level, and Art was not going to be accommodated. I ended up doing Computer Science, Physics, and Maths. Art was pretty much put on the shelf for me.
I continued to express myself artistically in whatever way I could find.
I decorated large envelopes with art and sent them through the postal service to various people, including DJs on various radio stations, some pirate radio stations. It was a good way to get a dedication on air, for one thing. Steve DeVonne on Radio Invicta 92.4FM was one of the recipients, as was Lenny Henry (he sent me an autographed photo in return). I enjoyed doing something a little bit different, something that no one else was doing. The envelopes were where I did Graffiti, and developed characters. I drew inspiration from the album covers of various George Clinton incarnations.
In the games I worked on, I would do as much of the Art as I could. In some games I did all of it.
In my early days in the US, I sought Art as an outlet, be it pencil, felt tip pens, pastels, or oil pastels. I even tried some Art Therapy, wherein I got into doing oils for the first time.
Once I became involved in raising a family, however, Art was no longer part of my life, there was no real time for it.
So, when I began my new life here in Iceland, a place which, arguably has a strong leaning towards the Arts, there was once more a place for Art in my life.
I bought a Blue Menningarkort, two actually, as there was a deal for two for the price of one (I later gave away the second card to someone who, hopefully, has been able to enjoy it as much as I have). It has probably been the greatest ‘bang for the Krona’ I have been able to achieve. I frequented all three of the Reykjavik Art Museums on a regular basis. It has been noted that since I purchased the card in June of 2011, I visited Ásmundarsafn some 52 times before year’s end. I have earned a reputation as a result. I am currently working on shattering that achievement, and not just there, Kjarvalsstaðir is my new target, as I am studying his works intensely, most days.
Seeing the sketches of Ásmundar Sveinsson inspired me to such a degree, remembering that I once did sketches just like those, that I felt I had to make a return to Art.
I have done a couple of sketches, some oil pastels, and now I am working on returning to oils, which I did once, a long long time ago.
I am choosing an ‘easy’ starting subject, something that will help me get going. I googled about it, and found nothing quite the same. So I am hopeful that this will be relatively unique, which is what I want. I have a starting plan, and I know in what direction I am going to be headed towards, I have a vision. I hope to get together enough pieces before too long to be able to put together an exhibition. My aspirations are more than modest. Much like paragliding, expression of who I am in the area of Art fulfills me in its own unique way.
I go as often as I can to the places that the Meningarkort allows me to. I have been exposed to a lot of Art since I have been here. My appreciation of Art grows with each exposure. Most of the Art is enriching, and I can appreciate it, with all its varying styles, forms of expression.
That is not always the case, however. Today I saw the Antoni Tàpies exhibit at Kjarvalsstaðir. Hmm. How could anyone possibly tell if anything had been damaged in transit or even vandalized? Ouch. Sorry. Not ‘my cup of tea’. I could produce art of that quantity and quality in less than a week. Anyone want to sponsor me for the supplies? (Note: I did not say it is not Art, I just don’t rate it.) I dare say the Art I produce will possibly suffer some similar criticism from some percent of the population.
If you want to see sheer genius, check out anything by Einar Jónsson. I cannot fathom how anyone can spend over twenty years on a single sculpture, but the results are remarkable. I doubt there is a better sculptor in all of history.
Art appears to be somewhat subjective in terms of quality, however, this is not going to stop me from pursuing my own artistic expression nor appreciating the expression of others.
Bless Bless og Sjáumst!