Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rethinking the Abstract

A great conversation with my friend Renato Riccioni today as he coached me through an ongoing sculpture challenge. In yesterday's post I wrote about the abstract. I suggested that ideas emerge in an abstract fashion. I also wrote that abstract ideas need to be translated in order to communicate them. I implied that in the act of translation something may be lost.

In our discussion today Renato suggested a different interpretation. Where I implied that the abstract idea he emerges in a burst of creativity, Renato countered with the idea that the act of translation extends the creative process. In my artistic process I have tended towards the immediate. This tends to result in pieces that are difficult for other people to interpret.

Renato put a more blunt interpretation on this. "If you want to stay in your own bubble you can focus on the immediacy of the creative process. But if you want to communicate with others successfully you need to extend the process by working on your piece."

Renato's idea remains a challenge to me. But if I want to communicate with others through my art it makes sense for me to pay attention to this challenge.

Of course there is no "right answer." But it's amazing to have the opportunity to discuss the creative process, cognition, and the way we do art with another person.

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