Why abstract art speaks louder than figurative art but figurative art is more popular in different cultures.
I have been wondering about this ever since the abstract began flowing from my brush. Why there is more interest in abstract in some cultures over and above figurative and vice versa. As a stranger living in a culture that is foreign to me, I can only take what I feel about my situation and then interpret this into words.
My understanding of this is based upon our rich history of art and how art has influenced the way people perceive the world around them. Each country, having its own culture, and that culture imbuing the flavour of the art that comes from that specific culture. Each one to his own, to a point that is.
When the crafts became an art movement, tribal craft became recognizable as art and folk crafts became folk art. The basic need of security and survival within a culture and the survival of the culture sought identity through the arts and crafts of the culture.
The root of the understanding of the emergence of abstract art as a recognized art movement, rests in a cultural search for identity. Primarily and foremost, the identity is based upon psychological perception. A psychological perception that gets taken for a spiritual one because of its unseen nature, i.e. it’s non-physical nature. This psycho/spiritual cultural identity is the mechanism that then drives the perception of the space in which a culture is expressed.
If that primary identity is based upon the perception of objects in space to be solely that of what the culture understands an object to look like, then it will have its roots in that understanding. What I mean by this is the understanding that an object appears in space and not space appearing as an object. Because the first implies an identity based in the concept of separation. A concept that has been defined psychologically to mean a spiritual or unseen thing that is separate from the seen thing. This is the basis of psychological religion. Which then gets taken to be spiritual religion where a man seeks pardon from God through a woman that God deems holy. You get the picture?. And all religions carry this flavour...that of man separate from God and then redeemed through the arrival of God as man in order to bridge the gap that exists between the two. This religion is the understanding that an object appears in space.
While the latter, space appearing as an object, has no concern for concepts like separation. This understanding implies factual apperception, which is the perception without psychological intervention . i.e. direct seeing.
Furthermore, space appearing as an object also implies that there is no separate anything God or whatever that is creating the event because it is simply just that... an appearance.
The reliance on the psychological process to be the master that determines what is being perceived through a labelling process, is the root of figurative art. The image is understood, psychologically, to mean some thing. While the basis of abstract art is the understanding of being ness without the need to think about it. The sense of being that is undeniably exactly the same for everyone is known without knowing, is aware without thinking and is the awareness of all that appears.
The abstract representation, which is known as Abstract Art, is this pure unadulterated(untouched by erroneous perceptions) representation of the knowing that is already in place prior to psychological knowing. And that ‘speaks’ louder than the figurative because its root lies prior to psychological identity.
Abstract Art is understood without psychoanalytical thinking although it is through psychoanalytical thinking that its true meaning can be pointed to.
Abstract Art was and still is the art movement that represents a representational understanding of totality, of the Oneness, the Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Omniscient, that is already always the case.
Cultural identity is a collective mindset that perpetuates itself through feeding itself with psychological perception taken to be a thing separate from another thing. And requires a process of becoming, a hope in some future when there will be resolve, a promise of something better.
While apperception is instantaneous, it is the very perception that is always ‘on’, whole and complete. A peace that passes all understanding. No need for becoming because you already are that.
Within the collective mindset there does occur situations where this identity is seen through for what it is i.e. apperception occurs. Apperception is spontaneous and causeless because it has no root in psychology. When apperception occurred collectively, the Abstract Art movement came about. A collective of artists saw through the veil of what they had been taught to see as artists.
To conclude, one can understand why a strong cultural identity would not understand abstract art. The so-called individual would first have to question, if not deeply, the erroneous psychological perception that clouds apperception to see what the ‘abstract art’ is saying.
Added 11 October 2012