“Art begins . . . when someone interprets, when someone sees the world through his own eyes. Art happens when what is seen becomes mixed with the inside of the person who is seeing it.” - Chaim Potok
What is it that makes art so breathlessly beautiful and captivating for one, while flat and uninteresting for another? Stimulating and thought provoking for some, yet offensively instigating to others? It is, I believe, the personal story that we bring to the relationship. As Potok is quoted above, the interpretation creates the art and thus begins the dance between art and viewer, each changing the other.
The Berkeley Art Museum is currently exhibiting the collaborative show Silence. How perfect a subject matter to allow participants to bring forth their own definitions and inquiries about silence, while questioning what constitutes art. Silence is not simply a void of sound just as art is not merely medium upon canvas. It is far more complex. It is the multidimensional synergy that brings forth the ever-changing creation; artist and viewer, canvas and paint, curator and subject matter.
A friend recently quoted Auden by saying that ‘“A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us” just as an excellent play, [or a great work of art], seems to know all of our innermost secrets.’ We too contribute to this experience by sharing our vulnerabilities, exposing the most private parts of ourselves, creating a symbiotic choreography between the personal and the visual. And then art begins.