It’s All Relative – Art
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls”
– Pablo Picasso
With 7.6 billion individuals populating Earth, this means that there are 7.6 billion different ways that art is able to wash the dust of daily life off our souls; each influenced by the unique standpoint, life experiences, and personality of every individual person. There can be no unanimous decision when it comes to identify, defining or describing art for the simple reason being the nature of art: its universality. In a previous blog post called “What is ‘Art’?”, we presented art under three general categories; art as an imitation twice removed from the truth; art as an expression; art for art’s sake not art for life’s sake. At the end of the day, you can’t spell heart without ‘art’! And why is this fun little play on words relevant? Because the most significant characteristic of art lies in its ability to convey the full spectrum of human emotions; symbolizing what it’s like to be human in 7.6 billion relatively subjective different ways. So, basically, art is relative!
Actually, as Albert Einstein once said, “all is relative”, and who are we to argue with him!
And on the note of relativity, we’re pleased to introduce “It’s All Relative” Exhibition on Four You Gallery’s online exhibition! A group show of five early-career to mid-career female artists exploring the vast array of emotions and connections that are absolute to their respective lives. What all five of these women have in common is their individual voice (their opinions, views, beliefs etc.) in their artwork. In an interview with Adele Smejkal (the curator of the online exhibition), she said that she “wanted artists that have a clear vision and focus on one subject matter that is relevant to them and only them…they all share the vision of being highly opinionated, developing their own artistic language to communicate those views”.
Why is this relevant? Because now more than ever, women all over the world (not just in art) need to be given the right platform, the right encouragement, and the right community to empower them to use their voice; the voice they’ve had all along; to be the main centerpiece rather than background filler art. As feminist theorist Hélène Cixous argues, “women are spoken of and for, but are very rarely allowed to speak themselves, then it is imperative that women become speaking subjects, rather than silent objects”. Cultural critic Bell Hooks emphasized on this fact by stating that speaking is not solely an expression of creative power; “it is an act of resistance; as such, it is a courageous act – as such, it represents a threat”.
According to curator and write Maura Riley, “the more closely one examines art-world statistics, the more glaringly obvious it becomes that, despite decades of feminist activism and theorizing, the majority continues to be defined as…above all, male. Sexism is still so insidiously woven into the institutional fabric, language, and logic of the mainstream art world that it often goes undetected”. American art historian Linda Nochlin urges women to “be fearless, speak up, work together, and consistently make trouble”. It’s about time, don’t you think?