Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Small works rule

I find myself concentrating on small works lately, which I tend to do from time to time. That is, finished pieces that are 20” x 20” or less (sometimes much less!) I love small works; both my own and other artists’. I think the reason why is that to look at them forces a really intimate interaction between the viewer and the art. You just have to stand really close and peer into the piece. This pretty much means that you are the only one viewing the piece at that moment—how’s that for intimacy? Also unique to the format of the small piece is the bonus you reap as you stand and peer at the composition, appreciate the beauty, get the message (or whatever) and are also able to perceive the nuts and bolts of the construction of the piece. Maybe (!) construction techniques are even integral to the design of the piece. For a large piece, to really get the full gist, you have to back away, get closer, maybe back away again and then if you’re interested (and almost as an afterthought) you go up close and check out the fine details visible from 3” away. Who does all of that? (Well, I do if I have time AND I’m interested in the piece, but certainly not for every large format artwork I come across). Much easier to step right up to a small, exquisite artwork and dive in and relish the experience.

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