Art historian H. Gombrich said “there is no art; only artists.’ Artists, whatever they and their work are, owe nothing to any person, group, dogma, philosophy, religion, or political movement. Art is innocent-unless it is used as propaganda in manipulation of people for maligned purposes. However, Art-like religion, industry, and physical, & verbal behavior… must be displayed and utilized responsibly to guard against its being misinterpreted by the immature, the primitive, and the violent-for the safety of society and the compassionate and responsible raising of children.
Art should never be censored, as it is the product of the human mind; the greatest accomplishment in sentience we have evidence of in the known universe. As such it is a window into an individual and his experience; a group and its experience, or maybe that of a culture. Seeing into an entity’s experience-into peoples’ experiences is the only way to understand them, and thus the only way for anyone or any group to accomplish reconciliation. Understanding one another is the only way to see the world of beings, to love, to avoid violent conflict.
Art is self-expression applied soulfully through a mastered-or practiced (or in the least, artful) craft. It expresses human emotion, intelligence, ingenuity, and observations. Therefore, Art is testament to humanity and being human (a concept I further developed in talks with Amber Park). Art encompasses artful living, all the recognized “art forms”,and the technological and creative fields of science-such as engineering and architecture.And most importantly, art encompasses love.
Some of what you see here at CarlAtteniese may not seem to be art to you (indeed, some of my work is sketching from the unconscious), but another way of looking at art is how an acquaintence named Joshua-a dancer and choreographer-described it to me:
‘Art is the asking of questions not focused on specific answers.’
I would add that art is not solely journalistic, which means it is meant to be more than something in a personal diary; it is meant to be seen. To some, Art may be art only after it is viewed, meaning it is not art until perceived in the mind of a viewer. In this vein, Amber Park says ‘art is for the observer.’
Please look at my art. Try, if you would be so kind, to feel what you might think I felt when I made it, or…don’t. Observe your feelings when looking at it.
I present my art with heartfelt apologies to the victims of war, execution, and global climate change, and with apologies to the memory of Masters Hokusai Katsushika and Hiroshige Ando; former President George W. Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, and to my father, to whom along with my mother, I dedicate my work.
Many thanks to my mom and dad, Robert M. Diefendorf, Lois Diefendorf (RIP), Amber Park, Christopher Barbaria, Gary Kim, Louis Trentidue, Adam Hoffman, Mike Stewart, Michael Kozzloff, Andrew Gerndt, Sardi Klein, Patti Bellantoni, Leigh Benkhi, Marshall Arisman, and Bing Lee.
With Love, Peace, Joy, and Imagination,
Carl Atteniese Jr.