«On Abstract Painting
'I don't Get it!'
I've often seen people stare at an abstract painting, then turn to their friend and say "I don't get it", as if they were looking at a blackboard of mathematical equations by Einstein. But it's not difficult to understand at all. An abstract painting is a painting that doesn't look like anything. It doesn't look like a book, or a tree, or a person. It just looks like paint.
You may say 'then what's the point?' Let me explain to you.
You have two lines
Line "A" is a smooth 's' shaped curve
Line "B" is a jagged line like a streak of lightning.
Which is more soothing?
If you answered seriously you said "A". But how can a line on a piece of paper have emotion or meaning? Yet you just said it did!
Question 2. Imagine in your mind 2 paintings:
Painting "A" is a light pastel yellow painted circle in a pink square
Painting "B" is a dark grey painted circle in a black square.
Which of the 2 appears happier in mood? If you answered like most you chose "A". But how can pure color be happy or sad? Yet you just said it did!
And when you get a very sensitive painter that has practiced his art for decades and that expresses his feelings not only through line and color, but through composition, brushstroke technique, shapes, depth perception, etc. etc. etc., you can get a very stirring and emotional painting; yet, it still does not look like a book, or tree, or a person.
In fact, without any pictorial boundaries getting in the way, the painting can communicate its mood, or feeling often even quicker than so called realism paintings.
You may have looked at abstract paintings and said, "My kid can do that." But trust me, when it comes to the few that are extremely talented in this type of art, your child CANNOT do that. Not even the 95% of OTHER abstract painters trying all their lives to do that - can do that!
Now go look at that abstract again.»