Reflections on art: Picasso and nature

Loiusiana near Copenhagen, Denmark now has an exhibition where Picasso is on show – an impressive display of an artist putting a mark on us all – technique, themes, politics. A great exhibition in a great place.

Galleri F15 near Moss, Norway has an exhibition of lesser artists – so far? – where art’s relationship with nature is the central theme. Art is creation, nature is a given form, a process of growth and decay, well known to us all. Nature can be beautiful, harsh, ugly, harmonious – it is all in there. Art based on nature may contain several of these elements, even surprise us profoundly. So artistic expression in addition to showing us a form, a twist on nature, must have a theme, some (deep) content – what is it the artist want to say, why is this important, why does the artist express herself in this way: what is at stake?

There must be some sense of urgency involved.

Artists can also (merely) imitate nature and make their art look like nature, but not like a copyist – the artist must make a point that matters to people: a point related to people’s existence, that touches their souls, starts the intellect ticking. It is not enough to do a well made object, installation, a different thing or other: there has to be a message in there that people find important, that make us react.

Art can challenge nature’s forms, introduce new visual elements, suggest mystical occurrences, show complexity, open up well known forms and show possibilities.

Other worlds – parallell worlds – may be possible – is nature real or is what you imagine reality? New animals can be created by artists, new plants too – showing strengths, vulnerability or even softness. Art can show us what nature could be or what it is not – challenging traditional thinking and concepts, shaking us up.

Materials and their use could also be shown, introducing new concepts, environmental themes, unconventionality. When does nature end and art start? Artists could stimulate our thinking here by their forms and concepts.

Artists should maybe also explain what they are thinking and doing, joining in discussions or debates, be part of the development of society and betterment of people, and ultimately the world? The answer to that is yes – so show yourself! We need you – you can show us the way.

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