Is a picture really worth a thousand words?
Well, exactly who said that? And what was the picture? Was it the Mona Lisa or something by my favorite artist ever, Caravaggio?
Hmm. In my book, a picture is worth a thousand questions. Who painted it? What were they thinking? Do I like it? If I owned it, where would I hang it? Do I see myself in that picture?
When you equate anything with words, you can expect the words to flow and they may not be so great. They might be good words or those other four-letter words.
This is the chance we take when we engage in word play.
So, what am I getting at? Well, lately I’ve had artists and other observers ask me about my website ArtBookGuy.
“Why so many words?” or “Why no pictures?” or “You’re supposed to be promoting artists, but where are the photos?” they ask me.
The questions are not without merit and those very questions themselves stand on the building blocks of letters and words that end in question marks. It’s a composition thing. That’s my whole point. Without those words, you have nothing. All you have is Mona Lisa sort of staring at you with that half-cocked smile … or is it a grin? Could it be a smirk? So many questions.
Do you see where we’re headed? It’s all about dialogue, isn’t it? Not monologue, but dialogue. A picture cannot speak unless someone sees it. A painting has no words until someone engages it and comes up with the words to set it free.
Yes my dear friend, it’s the whole, “tree in the forest” thing.
When I started ArtBookGuy, I wanted it to be the missing link between artists and observers. These days, so many things get in the way of simple communication. We spend our moments tweeting and Facebooking (yes, it’s a word. I just made it up) and posting endless trifles, but are we REALLY communicating?
“Did you get my email?” No, I didn’t. Goodbye.
When did email become the new conversation? Seriously? Like a picture, email cannot speak … WE do.
If we truly lived in an enlightened society, a picture WOULD be worth a thousand words, but we don’t. A picture, not to mention an artist, aren’t worth what they should be because we don’t VALUE them as we should.
God is the ultimate artist. Surely, HE agrees.
Yes, a picture created by an artist CAN speak a thousand words, but for the most part in our society, our ears are closed … our ears are closed to the value of art, ancient or contemporary.
In order to be enlightened, we must first be awake. This is why art needs advocates who can speak, write and even shout for it. Art needs singers who can sing for it and musicians who will play for their dear lives every note written on the pages for it.
Who doesn’t need or appreciate an advocate? It all begins and ends with words, dialogue and expression.
Is there anything worse than miscommunication or misinterpretation? Show me mixed messages and I’ll show you chaos and confusion. I’m not the author of confusion. Are you?
Let’s bring dialogue back. Let’s let the artists paint the visuals and we’ll create the words that complete the composition. What better way to start than by talking with the artists themselves?
Let’s get lost in words and then miraculously find ourselves again. Let’s do much more than chat, tweet or post. Let’s REALLY engage. Let’s talk not AT each other, but WITH each other ... our actual selves not our virtual selves.
Let’s bring conversation back. And no, it shouldn’t be about who says the most clever or witty thing. It should be about you and me and whoever else chooses to be part of the dialogue. Let’s bring civility back. We’ve done cynicism to death.
Let’s do it. It’ll be so fun. We don’t even have to agree. We can go museum hopping and stand in front of masterpiece after masterpiece and come up with a thousand words.
Ugh! I should’ve just spared you all of this and cut to the chase ...
Can we talk?