Sushi Is The New Fish and Chips - or How To Love Abstract Art!
We heard a quote recently by Adam Lindemann on BBC4’s The Banker’s Guide to Art’ “if you only eat fish and chips and someone puts a plate of sushi in front of you, you’re not going to like it, but if you try sushi and you get used to it, suddenly you feel good, you love sushi”....this set us thinking!
We all like to stick to what we know and feel comfortable with in life – but sometimes that can become a bit boring, a bit safe! Yes, a beautifully executed landscape or still life or an easily recognisable horse on a canvas will be very pleasing to the eye – but does it stir up some deep rooted emotion! – will it push the boundaries of your comfort zone?
Contemporary, abstract art is not everyone’s cup of tea. As humans we like to be able to recognise something, put a name on it, ‘get it’. Very often, when exhibiting abstract art we are asked, ‘what is it supposed to be?”, the answer is, of course, “it isn’t supposed to be anything, it is abstract!”, or “I can see a person followed by a dog in this, is that right?” – maybe…but it is abstract!”. Abstraction, obviously does have meaning, but focuses on shapes, textures, colours and form.
So, if you want more than fish and chips and want to venture into the world of sushi, how best to go about it?
Firstly, immerse yourself! Visit Tate Modern or other modern art museums around the world – obviously not everything will be what you like or understand. It will be a challenge – but worth it! You will see artwork that moves you, excites you, amuses you, evokes a memory or even disturbs you! Having said that, you will see something that clicks with you. Ask yourself; why you like it? what attracts you? why it provokes that emotion? It could be that you are drawn to a particular colour or the composition of the texture of the paint, something will call out to you! Slowly but surely you will find a common link to your own emotions and preferences.
Go to art fairs and see what instinctively grabs your attention there. Ask the gallerist how the artwork is done, what medium is used, what inspires the artist. Look closely at the brush strokes or the textures. Compare the colour shades or how the mixed media is worked. Gain knowledge and along with that confidence and appreciation. Before you know it, your taste will have changed and there will be no going back to fish and chips!
Whether at an art fair or gallery you will see an artwork that you love enough to take that leap of faith and buy! You may not know why you love it to start with, even when you get it home and on your wall, but this is where the fun starts! You will see something different in it every day and grow to love it even more. So, don’t settle for a comfortable, pleasing scene or still life, but challenge yourself to really work your senses and emotions. We guarantee it will outlast a safer artwork.
Lastly be confident with your new abstract art. You know you love it but don’t worry if your friends don’t ‘get it’ or even like it, … it will grow on them too – they may still be at the fish and chip stage in their life and need you to directed towards that plate of sushi!