Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Just recently, I stopped in to one of my favorite coffee shop/restaurant to have a coffee. There was this incredible eye popping expressive art on the walls. It appeared that it was a solo exhibit as the paintings were all by the same person. I couldn't help to stare over peoples shoulders and tables to get a better look. I spent almost forty five minutes going through the works, looking at them, and looking again. I was liking what I saw. Good solid expressionist work. Stunning. It caught my eye as soon as I walked into the establishment. Like a shining sun.

Then it struck me. Kind of like, the feeling you might get as if you were a ghost, and no one could see me, or notice how I was awestruck and gawking around with my laser like focused eyes. Here I was, going from table to table, craning my neck to see the works, and almost knocking someone off a stool to do so, and yet nothing. Like I'm invisible. I was almost hoping someone would say, oh, "I noticed you were looking at these paintings" .. and start a conversation about them.

I went back to my table, and just viewed the work from afar, just admiring it. I must have been in there an hour. People coming, eating, talking, texting, cell phones ringing, on lap tops, on Ipads you name it. I took very careful observations. Very careful. Because something was not right. Something caught my attention and I needed to make sure I wasn't wrong on this. And here it is.

Not one single person ever looked up to see the artwork. Not one. No one. Not a soul. Totally obliviousness. Even though it hung right over there heads, and was practically in their face. Here was this dynamic art, obviously done by a very accomplished artist. The life and soul, the guts and honesty, all there on canvas. And no one cares. It too was invisible to these crowds of people. Might as well have been ghost images. Work hanging in vain. For it was the proverbial saying come true. "What if a tree falls in a forest, and there's no around to hear it. Does it make any sound?" Perhaps blindness is not just a physical affliction.

I returned to my studio, proceeded to pick up my brush but had a hard time shaking that experience. And, I think made it a little harder to maintain my motivation to paint, or at least for the time being.
How sad. How very sad.


  1. My heart is saddened for those unable to see, but more saddened for your loss of passion, if only for the time.

    Perhaps, they had already seen the art? It may be that. But, I've been in places where the art was stunning and no one else seemed to notice and a few people looked at me like I was weird for getting excited about it.

    I think people have become inured to seeing anything past their own moment. But, I believe, the art added to their experience. And, if the art had not been there, something would have been missing, even if they were unable to discern what it is.

    Art is important on many levels, but I think, most important to the subconscious. A part of them saw it, and felt it, the atmospheric difference there is when surrounded by good art, and they will notice the lack at another time. Hopefully, to some day understand the lack and the meaning behind it and choose to surround themselves with great art.

    Do not give up, my friend. Your art is meaningful to many, beyond what the conscious can tell. Thank you for your wonderful world of art and inspiring other artists to continue to create.

  2. A much appreciated comment Leona. ~ Thank you.
    Yes, I have no doubt that the absence of that art would have left somewhat of a spartan atmosphere, and something would have been missed. Wether the art itself would be missed or just the decor, is another story. Visual adornment, in whatever fashion, to fill up a wall to occupy it, is one thing... but work which is to be "read" in depth, is another. It's kind of like hanging a copy of a Charles Dickens novel on the wall to take up blank space and give ambiance to the interior. What is written is of no consequence. The thing now becomes the object, not the work.
    This is what disturbs me the most. (if that is a good word to use) .. because in the long run, I paint despite the maddening crowds. As any artist or writer should. Art starts with the soul and cannot wait on the public to condone or endorse the work. Its done no matter what.
    Its always good to know the work is received, both visually and emotionally. That, though can only be done by the viewing of it. The digesting of it. The contemplation of it. Or, just a gut reaction to it.
    I do know that a study was done recently, and the conclusion was that only or even less than one percent of the population acknowledges or patronizes artwork. This was done, as a marketing survey to find where the populace spends their income.
    That said, maybe as I walked out of the coffee shop, that one percent, passed me in the doorway, heading into the shop, to become entranced the way I did.
    That is what I would like to believe. :)

  3. Restaurants are one of the worst places to exhibit art. People go there to eat, not view art.
    People think it is rude to go from table to table to look at paintings and disturb others that are eating....and so they don't look at the art.

  4. I've often thought that as well. Its not a walk around start and browse kind of environment. And even if you could, the chance that someone would see it as anything else except wall decor is slim. They figure its there to look good. This is not a gallery, so the thought doesn't enter their head that this was an art event set up by the artist to be seen. You can almost hear them silently thinking, ... " hey pal, .. if you want to exhibit art, why aren't you showing in a gallery? I'm trying to eat here."
    I confess, I've sold a few things this way, but,, like a slot machine, .. the chances are its stacked against you.

  5. I've seen that many times in coffee shops where art is hung to create atmosphere. The art is appreciated, would be missed, but isn't the focus. Those art works suffer a similar neglect that pretty girls, handsome men, vibrant wildlife, stunning cloud formations, majestic trees, and tiny elaborate flowers endure while people stick to their business. I don't think any of the beautiful natural things are going to give up because we don't notice them. Imagine the world with no sunsets. How horrid! Your art gone would be just as bad.