Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Yeah, but is it "integral?"

I don't know A. Andrew Gonzalez, but I have absolutely loved his paintings and drawings from the moment I saw the first one. His bio says he is largely self-taught and that he describes his work as "a contemporary Tantric or Transfigurative Art that explores the dramatic union of the sensual and spiritual."

His work is akin to a revival of classical neoplatonic ideals centering on the figure as temple and vessel sublimed by transformative forces.

In looking at whether a work of art is "integral", or not, there are many aspects that must be considered. First, a painting, a musical piece, whatever, is an inanimate object, an "it." Though a painting may "have a subject", it is an "object," and has no quadrants of its own. It can, however, be looked at from the four perspectives of the quadrants, or what is known as a "quadrivium (whether a particular piece of art has "life" is entirely another philosophical question).

A quadrant is a subject's perspective; a quadrivium is the perspective the object is being looked at from.

Neither can an "it," in this case a work of art, have interior or exterior realms. Again, it's an object, and an object can only have interiors that first the artist, and then the viewer, impose upon it.

Considering whether a work of art is integral, or not, seems to me has to do with the artist's intentions. Even if an artist doesn't have a working knowledge of the integral approach, if that artist intentionally includes the four quadrants in the production of that work, then I would contend it is integral. If any of the quadrants are missing during that process, it would then be partial, or not integral.

What does it mean to include include the four quadrants in the production of a work of art, or any kind of work?

Because there's an artist and a viewer, there's automatically a lower left quadrant of community:" we have a shared experience of looking at the same work. The lower right quadrant is the system, or technique, of producing the piece. The upper right quadrant could be the subject of the work. Almost all works of art have these in common to a degree.

But here's where I think Gonzales' work truly touches the integral approach:
Gonzalez describes his work as transformative, and I would agree. With the conscious intention and vision of making his work transformative, there would be attention the upper left quadrant, both for himself, and the viewer, and therefore, there would also be interior and exterior elements to that quadrant.

Enjoy the work of this amazing artist.


~C4Chaos said...

yeah Gary, i love A. Andrew Gonzalez's artwork the first time i saw them too. damnit, it even made it to my mobile phone :)

Gary Stamper said...

Yeah, I remember that. Somehow, when I cahnged computers, I lost the link to his work. Your posting connected me again. Thank you.