I believe that the ultimate purpose of art is to visually communicate insight into our common human experience. The greatest meaning is expressed by the most honest and economical imagery.
The light a painting reflects is real. The color of the pigment is real. The paint in a painting is real, as is the ground upon which it is applied and the resultant textural surface, once the two are conjoined. By contrast, the impression of three-dimensional space and form in painting are illusory. Painting has the ultimate truth and purity when the artist’s focus is upon the luminance of hue and the beauty inherent in his or her materials – the paint and support. Any impression of space and form should be a consequence of this focus upon the reality of the artistic entities of light, color, and surface.
In photography, the act of creation is supplanted by the act of discovery. The search for significant shape and color engages not only the artist’s eye but the consciousness as well. A hyperawareness takes hold when viewing the world through the camera’s lens. In observing a successful photograph, the viewer shares in the moment of profound recognition, the response to the resonance of archetypal shape and the hypnotic rhythm of pattern.
The poetry of an image is the product of two factors: first, the artist’s response – visually, emotionally, and spiritually – to the surrounding world; second, the artist’s complete immersion in the creative process. Historical or narrative content distances the viewer from the existential truth of a painting, converting it into a “picture”, rather than a momentary fragment of lived and living experience. The simpler the visual expression, the truer the creation and the more universal the significance of the artistic image.