I once again opened up Hermann Hess’s Steppenwolf and skimmed text I previously highlighted. “I can throw open to you no picture gallery but your own soul. All I can give you is the opportunity, the impulse, the key. I can help you to make your own world visible. That is all.” Oh my.
I realize that I lose control of the painting the minute I quit work on it and it is seen, experienced and interpreted by others. It fascinates me to see how viewers react in ways I never intended or foresaw. Meaning, as it relates to art, is subjective and never fixed.
We are captive to our own experience, perspective and anxieties. They influence our perception of meaning, reality and truth. But our perception is fraught with ambiguity and so I think we adapt and respond by looking inward to past experiences and our common sense for resolution. Half remembered memories, after images and prior non-linear experiences all can affect our perception.
Well maybe I must simply accept this and hope that you have new and different experiences, over time; each time you re-create my portraits with your own mental image, narrative and emotions. And in the end can I entice you to perceive and experience a more essential reality of your own making? I keep wanting more.
More at www.stoehr.us
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