Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Move over, Picasso.

Abstract art has always been a touchy thing for me. When it's done right, it's great. When it's done wrong, it often leaves me scratching my head and thinking, "huh?" (Of course, I've been stumped by a cell phone menu, too, so there's that.)

So, what constitutes abstract art done "right" exactly? Well, for me simply it comes down to a couple things: aesthetics and recognizability. Aesthetics is pretty straightforward -- it just needs to be pleasing to the eye. It doesn't necessarily have to be beautiful, just harmonious -- all the elements have to work together and compliment one another to create a strong overall image.

It's recognizability that's the trickier of the two. I strongly believe that the viewer has to be able to ultimately ascertain what the piece of art is about. Otherwise, you end up with a "huh?" from the viewer and much of the "oomph" of the art is lost.

This recognition can come in different ways. Sometimes, it's a matter of staring at a piece for a bit until you have that "a-ha!" moment when you realize that it's an extreme close-up photo of a leaf. Other times, such as in Duchamp's Nude Descending A Staircase (a favorite of mine), the title of the piece will help clue you into what you are looking at.

Now that I've shown you what I think makes good abstract art, let me show you some of my attempts at it. I've had several abstract photos in my Fine Art Galleries for some time now, such as Waves, Red Army, and Juicy Gemstones. But now I've got a new one to show you.

This was shot a few weeks ago. Unlike most of my blog posts, this photo can NOT also be found in my Fine Art Galleries -- it's only viewable right here in this post. I call it Crescent Moonwing. Give it a look, can you tell me what it is? First one of you to get it correct will receive $1 million!*

*$1 Million subject to availability.

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