Putting the Artist Back into Art I recently came across the website for the American Folk Art Museum which, although provides plenty of information and history of American folk art, left me with more questions than answers.
epitomises the humanness, and the artist’s involvement and investment in the creation of the object which is the exact opposite of what many contemporary artists are expressing in their work. It is the energy, spirit and emotion that the artist expresses in the artwork that allows for a meaningful interaction between the viewer and the artwork where the artwork is used as a medium for the artist to evoke debate, express emotion and communicate ideas. Although the artist can direct the discourse to some degree, an artwork will always be interpreted in different ways by different people and the path of the interaction will be steered by the viewers own life experiences. This continuous and boundless discourse allows the relationship between the viewer, the artist and the artwork to evolve and progress as people’s lives and their life experiences progress and change which gives the artworks that embody these characteristics a timelessness and immortality that causes one to constantly revisit and review the way we interact with an artwork.
In an art market where quick thrills and flashy bling have become the norm it is no wonder that people are beginning to detect a lack of emotion, energy and spirit in the works on the market which has resulted in an increased interest in Folk Art that will continue until the quest for an artificial perfection ceases.
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.