In the same way that I begin to conceptualize a photo or a painting or graphics piece before I begin, I would like to explain my style of art work (and to give my brain a chance to revert back to the left side). When creating art, I strive to achieve a complex simplicity. I want to create a new interest in something simple to give it a deeper, more spiritual meaning. I do this by using the concept of abstraction to extreme degrees. I strive to create simple pieces of abstracted art that provide viewers with the opportunity to make of it what they will. This gives them the chance to experience my work on their own, more personal level rather than having a preconceived emotion or a specific idea or thought projected at them. Giving viewers a chance to create, from my work, a new piece of art work in their own mind often provided for the possibility of a completely new perspective.
Why do I choose to create this particular style? It provided for a new experience for the viewer. It gives the audience the potential to see something completely different. By providing them with something simple, they can make of it what they want whether they find complexity in it through imagining hidden images or merely see it at face value as a bunch of computer-generated colors and lines and patterns. It is left almost completely up to the individual to make something, if anything, from it. I am able, to a certain extent, to influence the viewer by the careful choices I make in using color or creating the design. I provide them with nothing more than colors and designs, a skeleton of something waiting to come to life through the eyes of the viewer. But what is seen beyond that is personal. I don’t want to force a common, formulated impression upon my viewers by giving them something familiar to view. I want to create an instant relationship and understanding between the viewer and the piece by allowing them to absorb the feeling it radiates to them. In order to be completely successful in my endeavors, each viewer must see something completely different and the feeling must range from confusion to frustration to smiles to sadness all within the same piece.
My photography professor once said something like this, “Art can be anything, but anything can’t be art.” I see this as meaning that art can range from found items to carefully imagined paintings to a mess of lines and patterns on a computer screen. I believe that the creation of an abstracted image is just the beginning. To make it art, one must feel something when looking at the piece, experience a deep emotion, revert back to a past memory, take something home. However, not anything can be art. Therefore, if any one of these expectations aren’t met by each viewer, I have failed at creating a work of art. My whole intention is to strike one’s underlying emotions and create a new experience worth remembering.
Another quote that comes to mind when I think about my purpose or direction in art came from another college professor. He said, “People respect what they help to create.” I am in complete agreement with him. By allowing viewers to “finish” the piece, they are as equally important in its success as I am. If they understand what they see and form their own interpretation of the piece, they are much more likely to respect the work and to allow themselves to experience something different.
Mandy Landuyt, ’99
Sponsor: Hugh Lifson