To Understand or Not To Understand is the Question

Amita Manandhar
The Paw Print

It is always interesting to see the work of other artists whether they are students or professionals. The fun thing about art is trying to figure out the ideas and concept behind the artwork. Every artist has a unique way of viewing things.
When presented with a concept or theme, artists have completely different way of interpreting it.
So when I learned about the open themed, juried student show being held in Adams State University, I was eager to look at the different themes that the students were presenting through their artwork.
For those who don’t know, art department at Adams State University is constantly bringing visiting artists to help the students be familiar with different bodies of artwork.  This week they showcased the work of emerging artist Marc Anthony Polizzi. In addition to that, they also did a juried student show to showcase and promote the work of ASU art students.
The juried show was open theme and not restricted to just one medium of art. The submitted artwork consisted of mediums like ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, painting, sketches and photographs.
When I went to attend the opening show of Polizzi, I was equally excited to view the juried student show.  The sculpture by Polizzi was very impressive and large in scale. Polizzi’s work was very creative, and his ideas and methods were different than any other artists I have seen so far. I thought his work was very unique because rather than creating something and then putting it in the gallery he created his sculpture inside the gallery.
I think that what makes Polizzi’s work interesting is how he uses different types of materials to build his sculpture. When you are looking at his work from distance it looks like a normal sculpture made out of one kind of material, but as you get closer you start seeing little details made up of different objects. It is all those little details and textures that make his piece unique.
After I attended the lecture and opening of Marc Anthony Polizzi, I went to see the student artwork.  I was impressed by all the artwork that I saw. However, I felt that the artists should also have included the concept or the thinking process behind their artwork. As a viewer I feel that it is always interesting to interpret the message behind the artwork and then compare how much it matches with what the artist was trying to show.
When I am looking at an artwork I always try to understand what the artist is trying to tell through their work.  Sometimes the title is enough to make me understand the concept and sometimes even if I stare at the artwork for hours and hours I would not be able to figure out the idea. Most of the juried student artwork was self-portrait, so I did not have to ponder over the concept.
However, I must admit that I did not understand the concept behind any of the artwork in the show. I was quite disappointed with my failure to grasp the artist’s concept.
Regardless of my inability, I enjoyed looking at all the artworks. I hope that ASU art department keeps hosting these wonderful exhibitions of visiting artists and student works. I also hope that in future I will be able to understand every artwork, and until I do, I will keep staring at those artworks. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet