ntrospective analyses on such heady matters as to why a person is motivated to gravitate towards expressing inner thoughts and feelings in the creation of visual arts has probably taken up some valuable time of artists, psychoanalysts, and anyone with some interests in finding out about such motivations.
In the past, I never gave these issues much of a thought, I just sculpted without thinking too much about the reasons why I spend many hours, days and years doing my work, so why dwell on it now? Maybe it’s just one of those natural progressions of aging, where some of us begin to look at such esoteric issues as our purpose in this life, or maybe it’s just a curiosity into the the makeup of our creative psyche. To me, there are many elusive questions and fleeting answers on the issues of the thought processes and formation of ideas associated with creating abstract, representational and figurative sculptures and drawings.
Where do these thought processes come from and why are they such a big part of my creative directions in making a sculpture from an irregular block of stone or to build a structure, which have absolutely no relationship to any perceived representational or figurative ideas?
Could these creative episodes be some form of basic esoteric thoughts brought about by a mixing of past exposures to other artists work with my perceptions of the world around me all coming out of my subconscious.
There is a hard to explain zone I enter into when I am working on an abstract sculpture, which is quite different from the creative zone I am in when I work on a representational or figurative piece.
After much contemplation on such esoteric thoughts, I ran across these quotes from two other abstractionist whose definitions of this genre get right to the point and somewhat simplify the issues.
Arshile Gorky – “Abstraction allows man ( person ) to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes “ ( my parenthesis )
Janet Stupok – “It’s like a dance with my hand and my mind, and they take turns leading“
In my definition and interpretation of purely abstract art, one should not give it any other title than “Untitled “with perhaps a number for cataloging purposes. As soon as an abstract work is given a title, other than “Untitled” it becomes a representational piece, no matter how abstractionalized it is because it has become an abstracted form of an expressed idea instead of expressing a purely abstract idea. I suppose this could be a matter of semantics and why the genre Abstract Expressionism was coined.
I find that one of the most intriguing features of abstracts is the continuous change one can perceive of the work, whereas representational and figurative art will almost always adhere to its image and title, purely abstract work can be re-interpreted many times depending on the differing moods, feelings, and perceptions of the viewer, thereby, in my opinion, taking it to a slightly more interesting level of intellectual involvement.
Sometimes a transformative process comes about as a result of the physicality of the stone, like hitting an unforeseen fault in the stone, changing the original idea for that piece, or as in one case, where the stone fell off the workbench and the impact on the asphalt somewhat changing my idea for that stone as it shattered into several pieces…..
ABSTRACT REPRESENTATIONAL (OR EXPRESSIONAL)
There are essentially two ways in which I approach this genre.
One way, I would begin a purely abstract piece, and as I am working on it, some external visual or auditory or even a subconscious experience begins to influence the direction of the piece as it turns towards more representational ideas. This sometimes occurs after the piece is completed if I decide that there are representational ideas that fit the piece better than just purely abstract ones.
The second way I approach this genre is that I have a representational idea, but as I am working on it, I begin to abstractionalize it but keep some of the representational elements, this, more often than not is the way I approach most of my constructions.
REPRESENTATIONAL AND FIGURATIVE
I feel that these two genres don’t need any esoterically intellectual explanations because of their simple transition from an esoteric idea into tactile sculptures. For fear of sounding elitist, I am just expressing my experiences with this genre, and in my biased opinion, this genre requires a lot less esoteric and intellectual involvement as far as my own creative directions are concerned.
The creativity stops after the initial idea for the piece is formulated, the actual completion of the work, is just that, – work, whereas a purely abstract piece is most often continually transitioning right till completion, thereby becoming more intellectually involving and stimulating.
In contrast to my abstract sculptures, my drawings are almost all representational, figurative, and illustrative with only a recent diversion into abstract representational ideas. This gives me a way to stay “grounded” in formalities and continue to express some of my creativity in two dimensions.
-GEORGE SZABO 2019