Skip to main content

Self Expression Vs. Art

Who decides what is art? When does self-expression turn into art?

These are questions prompted by my Intuitive Painting class I teach regularly at the Arlington Center for the Arts. The class is designed to help students find their own unique content through a variety of directed exercises.

Does the individual alone decide to call something art? Does it depend solely on the maker's intent - i.e. if I say it is art, then it is art? Do we need an outside critic to declare something art? Does self expression become Art with a capital A when the maker distances his or her self, and edits the work? I believe the latter is true, but it really doesn't matter in the long run.

Sometimes the best thing to do is stop thinking about it and just do it.

What do you think?

Comments

Wendy said…
Hi Adria,
Great question! I think your last statement is the bottom line: just do it. Because it is in the process of creating that the artist's voice begins to emerge. At least this is true for me. I can have all kinds of ideas about what to paint, but until I start putting brush to canvas, I really don't know what I have to say. For me, the creative process comes from a source that is not entirely conscious. I'm a pretty grim person but the images I produce are joyful. So where do they come from? Not my every-day self at all. Are my paintings art? That, I don't know but I'm going to keep doing it. Thanks again for the terrific question. Wendy

Popular posts from this blog

Appetite - four day exhibit, report from the scenes

Appetite  - four day exhibition in Melrose, MA featuring my work and my friends Patti Brady and Catherine Bertulli.

Lisa Crossman, Ph.D., Curator - Fitchburg Art Museum, had this to say about Appetite  
Appetite begins with instinct and results in vibrant, playful excess. Catherine Bertulli hosts the artist-organized pop-up exhibit in her large studio in Melrose, MA. Each artist toys with the seduction of the surface such as the draw of bright colors. Bertulli’s monumental towers are impressive illusions, shimmering columns of gold, turquoise and other brilliant tints. They are eye-catching objects. Yet the aniline dyes are fugitive­­–presenting only impermanent effects–and they are hollow, only a shell of architecture. Adria Arch’s palette too confesses her interest in forcing the unexpected through experimentation–freezing a mark in time and then responding to it, and intuitively combining fields of color with shapes and patterns. Her paintings are pleasurable in their leg…

Do I Make You Happy?

Do I Make You Happy? An installation
Hess Gallery, Pine Manor College
August 28 - November 10
Opening reception and artist talk, Wednesday, September 26 at 5:30 pm

The Other Art Fair

I participated in The Other Art Fair this weekend. What an exhilirating, exhausting experience. I owe so much to my friends and family who helped me out - 4 days of interaction with the public, meeting other artists, and exploring Greenpoint in Brooklyn.

My main reason for doing this fair which is dedicated to individual artists, rather than galleries, was to expand my audience and get my work seen out of Boston. I hoped to connect with arts professionals who might be attending the fair and to get a sense of what these fairs are like. I was very relaxed about selling my work because I chose to bring part of my new paper installation work which I know is not easy to sell. I also did not bring small framed works. It was more important to me to show my latest pieces and to make a strong visual statement. The Other Art Fair staff were absolutely terrific, and I thought that the cost of the booth space was fair. It was all about exposure for me.