Thoughts about today's art world, artists and artisans
-by Iris Lavy
I've always felt myself to be a crafts person... know what I mean, this need in the hands, to do something, make something from nothing there's such a satisfaction in it... today's art world includes many artists who's art is mainly of concept, of an idea - that's the emphasis of today's 'high art' world.... but my fingers need to touch, move, make.... seems like the art world today wants to divorce from the 'crafty' side of the art. Many contemporary exhibitions are about an idea, which can be executed by anyone, all the artist has to do is conceive of the idea, clarify the instructions... It actually upsets me, as I feel it deprives us from one more thing amongst the many other things our modern, specialized society is depriving us... not that I don't respect an art of concepts and ideas, of thoughts and words, I do, and I see it as an additional, new form of art, but it saddens me to see that more and more, the art of crafting, the artists who still want to hold brushes and paint, clay, wood, paper scissors, artists who need to touch and mold metal and glass, or even specialize in the intricate technical details of correct exposure and camera aperture - are all being looked down on in today's 'high art' world. Today's high art is all about installations, statements - we have moved into the ultimate abstract - that was and should have been the next step from the abstract art of the 50's, or should it have been?
As an artist, I am always asking myself this question, what am I doing this for? I want to make a statement with my art, but what is my statement today? I know, one of my statements is certainly that creating art IS about crafting, it IS about making with your hands and your fingers.... I mean, it's great that the art world is expanding the way it is, but I still need to TOUCH the material, and mold my ideas into colors and shapes and lines, because it's the only way for me to feel that my art is actually TOUCHING the heart of whoever sees and experiences it, and maybe they can take the piece I MADE and symbolically store it inside their heart by hanging it - or a reproduction of it in their visual environment - their home, or workplace, and have the image I created become an occasional visual reminder for them of the EXPERIENCE of being touched that way.... just like a beautiful piece of jewelry does to us when we wear it, or a dress, or a beautiful vase we place flowers in....