|Three Continents by El Anatsui (made with bottle caps)|
|Peak Project El Anatsui (made with tin can lids)|
|Surveillance Camera Ai Weiwei|
|Coffin Ai Weiwei|
While artists often challenge us to contemplate topics like the slave trade for the manufacture of beer, the relation between industrial manufacturing and the natural world, or surveillance and freedom of expression, the mystery that lies at the foundation of art is the mind of the artist. Once we realize we’re to have an experience of art, we stop wondering, what is this for, and begin pondering what it means.
Art isn’t however simply an expression of the artist’s thoughts or emotions, and neither should it be considered merely an attempt at rendering some aspect of the real world through one of the representative media. How Anatsui conveys his message about the slave trade is just as important as any attempt to decipher what that message might be. The paradox of art is that the artist conveys more of him or herself by focusing on the subject of the work. The artists who cast the most powerful spells are the ones who can get the most caught up in things other than themselves. Falling in love exposes as much of the lover as it does of the one who’s loved.
|Akua's Surviving Children El Anatsui|