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Our Relationship with Art #2



As a young radical art student (aren’t we all?), I, at once despised and adored art museums and galleries. I loved them because it was “THE” way to see art that was happening, art that already happened, art that was timeless. Clean and crisp away from the dirty studio into a sterile atmosphere with minimum explanations, maximum visibility, that allowed to contemplate, breathe-in with little or no “background’ noises. AND that was the exact same reason why I hated them! I was forbidden to touch the paintings and sculptures. I was dying to touch and feel the pieces. I wanted to feel what the artist felt when making that piece. Trying to figure out by touch, when did the artist know that the piece was done, what they felt when preparing it. I was forever getting into trouble. First, with my Pentax Camera that my parents bought me. Always trying to sneak in as many photos as possible before the museum guard would yell and threaten to take my camera and confiscate my roll of film. Then, the guards running after me telling me to stop touching the art with my grubby hands (Hey! My hands were clean!).

“Nerano”, Pencils and Ink on Paper, A-5, Private Collection, @All Rights Reserved to Barbara Adler 2021

I love street art for that reason. Anybody can touch it and see it. Even in the case of graffiti, add on to it or paint over. The dialogue is real. Environmental sculptures are great under the condition that the artist remembers that the work is in the environment and that people are part of that environment and not just the weather. I loved walking around New York in the early 80” s. it was full of graffiti. For me, street art, raw art. various cities had Niki de-Saint-Phalle sculptures that were actual playable environmental sculptures. Of course, most artists prefer to work on a much smaller scale of work and in quieter and secluded environments (including, “yours truly”). I still wish though that I could touch art that is not mine.

“Just The Two of Us”, Acrylic on Wood, 25/20cm, @All Rights Reserved to Barbara Adler 2021

Another issue that I had with the sterility of the galleries and the museums was that I found it almost impossible for the artwork to touch me, my soul. Only if the piece needed that sterility to exist, as a material, could I get all excited, as with Barnett Newman’s “Stations of the Cross” or Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party”. Besides that, I preferred books(!) where I could be intimate with the artwork or at the artists' studio. Today, there are many art movies available, that show the artwork and describe the artist at work, enabling me to sit in the comfort of my armchair and get carried away with emotion by watching the movie and seeing the artwork come alive as in “Frida Kahlo”, “Jackson Pollak”,” Caravaggio” just to name a few.

“Snail”, Acrylic on Wood, 19/19cm, @All Rights Reserved to Barbara Adler 2021

Art needs to touch our souls. The story will then prevail and be eternal. Allow for that never-ending gift of story-telling. We need to touch art, to do art if we can’t touch the art of other artists. The feel of the materials enables us to experience, even for a fleeting moment, the magic of the artist.

Everybody needs art. There is Art for everyone’s state of mind, desires, and tastes.

All the works on this blog are for sale and are Barbara Adler originals. I love talking about my art, so feel free to DM/contact me regarding my art and possibly making it yours.

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