Exploration of ideas.
“The universe is real for us all and dissimilar to each one of us. … it is not one universe, but millions, almost as many as the number of human eyes and brains in existence, that awake every morning.”
(Proust, The captive [668–69].)
How one sees and conceptualizes is what makes art possible. The interconnections among the things of the world are vast and beyond us; so we make choices, classify, categorize, define. But ultimately what we choose is ours, our view, our version of the world.
Some artists choose elements for their art that are recognizable, that follow social conventions, drawn from a prevailing aesthetic that feels as natural as the air. Splendid saturated landscapes, blurred waterfalls and waves, babies and children, flowers at their peak; the list is nearly endless. These are all common currency.
Looking closer, we find many things with their own character and meaning. They intimate what is not said on the surface. Somehow they speak to our consciousness in a way that bypasses our day-to-day thoughts, becoming a stimulus to feeling and ideas.
But how does one find these things that speak? It is the interaction of our being with the world that generates ideas. A talent of the artist is that these brief, fleeting revelations can sometimes be caught and brought to consciousness more plainly than a passing impression. Then … then … there is something unique, new, true to that consciousness that is shared with the world.