Is it really so dangerous to talk about your art and writing?

“It seems to me, that the modern painter cannot express his age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or any other past culture. Each age finds its own technique.” — Jackson Pollock

Reflections by Adam Donaldson Powell:

After having been told for decades to “never explain or discuss your art or writing” I am doing just that here on WordPress — this in order to share with others my thought processes, the philosophical questions behind my work, and the technical decisions thereof. That also enables me to do a bit of writing — combining poetic prose with small essays as texts accompanying my visual art. As with my writing, my art is always indifferent to currently popular trends of style but always socially relevant. It is not for everyone, as I intentionally aim to provoke thought on some level. And as we know, many resist deeper levels of thought (or thinking at all beyond superficial and personal needs and preoccupations). Is it still okay to just want to find sensual pleasure in a work of art, without being burdened by many questions and socio-political issues? Yes, of course. We all need a respite from time to time, but in my opinion, Art is always about possibilities — including diverse possible interpretations.

Another thing I now do is to preview the coming attractions on my main website. I do this to commit myself to an idea and its execution. Writing and making visual art are about constant decisionmaking, and while the final results are important, they are — in my opinion — mostly a compromise between various decisions made along the way. Understanding literature and art are thus more fully possible when one understands that ideas and expressions do not always come out of thin air, or merely by chance or through innate talent. An artist and a writer are like orchestra conductors, in that we are constantly conducting a huge symphony which consists of many voices, sounds, and ideas. This pertains to even the shortest forms of literature (haiku) and art (minimalism). But do not be deceived; the simplest expressions of literature and art require the most precision and talent. As with music, all sections of a literary or visual composition must be executed with equal mastery. One section cannot seem effortless while others feel belabored. Thus many writers and artists appreciate criticism most from “their literary and artistic colleagues”. They understand more of the total process involved and most likely dare to pose relevant questions and criticisms of interest and help to the writer or artist. For me, exploring the vast area between photorealism and abstraction gives me the most pleasure. The possible degrees of semi-realism are endless. Such expression is provocative because it forces us to step outside of how we think others see us and how we wish to be seen — beyond any photographic moment that is frozen in Time, and more into the psychological aspects of our Being. There are relevant parallels in literature, eg. stream of consciousness writing in novels, various technical diversions in poetry designed to function as asides, or even just to jolt the Reader into another possible reality, etc. And then it is no longer a bad thing to talk about one’s writing process or ideas because the total process is by definition still mysterious and indescribable. But like most modern art museums, just a hint of background information can be the ticket other Thinkers need in order to accompany you on their brief journey into our own Mind and Art.

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