I was intrigued by a passage in Gombrich’s book in which he was writing about seeing. He mentioned that a person who gains sight later in life has to learn to see. But even those of us who can see are sometimes surprised and confused: a piece of paper in motion can at first appear to be a bird. But once you know what it is, then you can’t see otherwise. Gombrich was pointing out how knowing affects seeing.
Which is why new ways of making art meet resistance at first.
But also why art is so compelling. Who doesn’t want to see differently?
In my own thought segway, I consider how I see things: what I understand. When I’m with another person, I communicate my seeing. If it’s a really exciting exchange, I come away finding out that various thoughts of mine that I thought were birds were just pieces of paper. Or perhaps… vice-versa.
That – THAT is what I want art to do. But without the words. Take paper: show me birds.