Friday, June 27, 2014

Art Blog: Relatability

Do people like your art? Do people respond to your art? Do people relate to your art? I have been asking myself these questions a lot lately. As my mind buzzes with questions about the art I create, I also wonder why it seems so many people don't really understand what I am doing or care about my work. I want to be brave and brash and say it doesn't matter what others think! However in my heart of hearts it does matter to me.

As I troll the internet, I have found many artist's works which stop me in my tracks. This got me wondering. WHY do I like certain art works and not others. One artist whose work amazes me is Stephen Magsig. Time and time again, I see one of his paintings posted and I just stare at it. Often, his work takes my breath away. What is it that draws me in and fills me with such awe? I am not always attracted to representational work or landscapes. I love painting in general, but his work really jumps out and grabs me.

For example, when I look at this painting of the Fisher Building in Detroit, I have a visceral reaction. Not only is the painting executed with precision, I also react to the subject matter. I have looked at that building throughout my life. In fact just before I left Detroit, I lived a few blocks away from the New Center area. I could stand and look out my studio window at that orange glowing dome.

In his series "Postcards From Detroit", he has painted many night or low light images. These small paintings are dense, yet glow with street lights or the burning fires of industry. They capture the atmospheric mood of Detroit. When I was a little girl, I remember peering through the windows of our car and watching the wavering lights and smoke on the horizon of my motor city. It was dirty and at times, smelly, but it was my home.

After thinking about Mr. Magsig's work, I realized I relate because his imagery is part of my life and deeply rooted in my artist's soul. As an artist in my own right, I have the tools of the trade down pat. I have the art experience under my belt. Now, it is time to strive for what artist's like Stephen Magsig bring to the art table: RELATABILITY.

Belle Isle Aquarium
Oil on linen/panel, 5x7"
Click on pic to see more wonderful works by Stephen Magsig.