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Abstract Expression NOT Always Emotional

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Abstract Expression NOT Always Emotional

Passion's Shore ORIGINAL
Fluism PAINTING by Robert G. Kernodle

Expression Does Not Equal Emotion

In some discussions about abstract art, I have encountered a strong, implied premise that ALL abstract art SHOULD be concerned with emotions that precede the artistic creation. I also have encountered further implications that art devoid of emotions DURING its creation might be deficient in some way, or that a viewer's EXPERIENCED emotions in an artwork REQUIRE the artist's exuding emotions into the artwork, while the artwork comes into being. My experiences in creating art do NOT confirm such assumptions.

Emotions depend intimately on raw sensory inputs, to begin with. Without such raw sensory inputs, emotions could not exist. Consequently, art can provide the raw inputs from which both artists and viewers realize emotions. Emotions, thus, need not be the inspirations for creating art. In particular, emotions need not be the inspirations for creating what the art world categorizes as "abstract art" or as "abstract expressionism".

From My Experience

For example, I can work on a piece, and I am NOT aware (in the least) of any particular emotions. I perceive the unfolding of a particular color combination or a particular group of patterns, and ONLY AFTER my perceptions of these things do I experience particular emotions. In his way, the WORK creates resultant emotions; precursor emotions in ME do NOT create the work. In other words, I "listen" to the work; I do NOT force the work to "listen" to ME.

In my case, the process of making an artwork is usually drudgery (for the most part). But within this drudgery, I routinely find moments of pure delight that push me through to a conclusion. And the finished work usually produces a sense of great fulfillment. If it fails to produce such fulfillment, then I trash it and start another work that promises to be more fulfilling than the preceding failure.

Exploring Through Trial And Error

In creating an abstract artwork, I am NOT reacting to emotions that are already present. Instead, I am exploring to discover compositions that DELIVER emotions that I simply like. I am NOT expressing anything. Rather, my actions themselves ARE the expressions, in my eyes that physiologically express colors and harmonies within my anatomical measuring system (i.e., my whole body). Human senses themselves are the primal "expressers". The senses themselves are ALWAYS expressing the appearances of the world as ONLY human bodies can experess them. What we call "emotions" are the SECONDARY expressions on top of the PRIMARY expressions.

Human eyes EXPRESS colors. Human ears EXPRESS sounds. Human taste buds EXPRESS "sweet, sour, bitter". Human muscles EXPRESS dizziness, balance, heaviness, and other deep muscular sensations. The human body is an expressive organ by its very existence. THIS is the sense in which my abstract artworks are "expressions". THIS is the basis of emotions that arise from expressions.

Emotional Awareness

Now I DO believe that OTHER artists can work this process in the other direction, where they feel certain emotions first, which they then "translate" into artworks. In other words, precursor emotions CAN, most certainly, exist in these artists, and these precursor emotions drive the work. This is NOT what I, myself, generally do, however. I can think of only one work that I have ever created this way, and, honestly, it did not impress me as any more distinct than works that I created from pure sensory motivations.

All emotions, whether pre-formed or later realized in a person, are first based on pure perceptions, and pure perceptions constitute the broadest domain of abstract art, as I see it.