Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Artist's Eye and Perspective

( This post edited 01.26.2012 to replace photos lost in creating Google+ Page.)

There's a great German word, which has also become a great English word, though you don't often hear it  outside academia. The word is weltanschauung. Literally, translates as world view. Figuratively, you could apply it to almost any inner or outer view of  "things" from your own perspective. Weltanschauung was my immediate reaction to the following article on today Jobs and Eames Many similarities in these creative designers.

From the same site, a great classic video from the creative genius of Charles and Ray Eames that is a beautiful expression of placing things in their proper perspective. Eames Powers of 10 Film  From EamesOffice: "In 1998, "Powers of Ten" was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

My numbers career focus, coupled with visual artistic endeavors, have resulted in an unusual perspective of time for me. My view of things runs along a continuum that is also circular. Not double speak--think of a mobius strip. I'm certain that every event of our entire past life experience is/was another block leading us to where we are in the present/future, and that we tend to go in circles in our life cycle events. Some blocks are cornerstones, others are "extras" that fill-in or add-to.

During the December holidays, a birth and a death on the same day touched my family. These life cycle events have touched every human being who ever walked the earth. An amazing concept to me since the birth of my children brought it into clear focus. One minute there is a vibrant being who leaves us; another minute and there is a new human being in the world to begin a new journey. Amazing.

Sigmund Freud, regardless of errors he made about the human psyche, gave a great lecture on weltanschauung, which was really about religion, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. It's a short read, pretty much in plain English, Freud's Philosophy of Life Lecture

Listening to Israeli Skies
Freud on art: 
"Art is almost always harmless and beneficent, it does not seek to be anything else but an illusion. Save in the case of a few people who are, one might say, obsessed by art, it never dares to make any attacks on the realm of reality." Silly me, I thought all artists were obsessed by art.

Freud on religion: 
"The religious man’s picture of the creation of the universe is the same as his picture of his own creation." Oh, well, we do have a lot of unique religions.


In the Beginning
Freud on science vs. religion:
"Earthquakes, floods and fires do not differentiate between the good and devout man and the sinner and unbeliever... it is by no means the rule that virtue is rewarded and wickedness punished, but it happens often enough that the violent, the crafty and the unprincipled seize the desirable goods of the earth for themselves, while the pious go empty away. Dark, unfeeling and unloving powers determine human destiny..."

He's saying Science governs the world, this physical world, which may be true. Are fractals (we learned about them in elementary science class) just scientific accidents of nature that repeat, repeat, repeat? 

The painter's eye sees much in simple subjects, and reduces the complex to simple imagery.
Our perspective is whatever we decide to make it when we begin a new creation. We can be "harmless and beneficent" or we make powerful visual statements as Picasso did. We wholeheartedly attack "the realm of reality" when we choose to; at times we are obsessed because we soak up our environments, process the input, and move on to create. A few are so obsessed, they achieve to the level of Jobs and Eames in creating. Awesome!

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All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

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