My hubby is a very intelligent and creative person in his own way– the stories he concocts and “sketches” he comes up with are Saturday Night Live-worthy and he reads books like A People’s History of the United States for fun. But when we started dating, he was definitely an art-world novice. Questions like, “But what exactly is wrong with Thomas Kinkade?” made my head want to explode. But maybe the biggest struggle was trying to explain what I loved so much about abstract painting and why no, honey, a 3rd grader could NOT have done that.
Part of what I love about George is how much he appreciates my creative side and artsiness. Makes me more interesting than the average-gal, I suppose. And, like all lovey-dovey types, I wanted to be able to share that part of myself with him. We went to art festivals, galleries and openings, all in pursuit of awakening his mind to a world of art he may have never experienced before. He became a fan of Christina Foard, following the opening of her Williams-Cornelius show, admiring her use of color and texture.
We also discovered that he doesn’t always care for abstract expressionist-type work, i.e., seemingly random slashes of paint across a canvas, which will more than likely elicit a shoulder-shrug and a “eh” from him. He does, however, appreciate light and texture, as he surprised me by totally digging these pieces we saw recently in a gallery in Hood River, Oregon.
Surprisingly, his tastes have emerged as running a bit more deep & avant-garde than mine.. where I get drawn in by beautiful color, texture and form, what may draw him to a particular work is the narrative of the story it is telling. For instance, he was very interested in investigating the details of the Rauschenberg prints we saw in Tulsa. He also tends to lean more toward multi-media work, such as this kind of creepy haunted-house-like part sculpture-part installation at the Denver Art Museum held his interest far longer than it held mine.
But what really keeps me on my toes is how inquisitive he is about what he is seeing– the process, the motivation, background story, etc. He asks questions that I don’t always have the answers to, which results in us making discoveries together. ( Who could ask for better? ) It is that inquisitive & curious nature that I think finally led him to the realization of just what it is about abstract art that makes it so interesting and provocative.
As we were leaving the art gallery at The Pines in Hood River, George said to me, “I think I understand why you like abstract art so much. When you see another realistic painting of a tree or landscape, it’s usually just another painting of a tree. But abstract art draws you in, makes you think.” YES! Here’s to more discoveries with you, my love.