What they see is not what we get.
A lesson from Hockney, Miro, and Cezanne:
Artists show us fresh ways to see familiar things. They’re able to look at something – in nature, on the street, or in life – and interpret the scene or situation in their own very personal way.
To an artist – just about everything is interesting. And as the rest of us expose ourselves to new works of art – radical statements, or unique ideas — our own sense of “what works” grows stronger.
On this page, we see how contemporary British painter David Hockney (Pic #1, right) takes a serene country scene and creates a colorful palette of pinks, tangerines and lilacs that aren’t even present in the original photo – just one way an artist makes something his own.
Spanish painter/sculptor Joan Miro (Pic #2, right) extracts very specific shapes from his source material – cutout photos of metal utensils and medical instruments – and interprets them in quirky ways on canvas. It’s almost as if his new shapes – with their added detail and spiky lines — have developed a perky personality.
Finally, French impressionist Paul Cezanne (Pic #3) became obsessed with interpreting one particular landscape in the South of France – the iconic Mont Sainte-Victoire – and painted it over 60 times. Each painting gives us something new – a different angle, an altered point-of-view, varied textures, or dramatically different hues. It’s something an artist can’t fight – and in fact, truly defines who he is. It’s also why artists are first to observe and reflect changes in society, culture, and taste.