Art Quote: Bridget Riley on Seeing

Artist Bridget Riley Quote
Bridget Riley

3 Replies to “Art Quote: Bridget Riley on Seeing”

  1. Clumsy thoughts.
    Sometimes as a painter I wonder why I systematically paint what is around me (landscapes, still life, portraits…). As if the Modern Art had never existed. This was also the case of sculpture untill Brancusi. The classical music is the miraculous exception, since its beginnings, with some exceptions as the Pastoral Symphony of Beethoven. Why in fact painters of all centuries have had the need of representing what was around them? Testimonies, ease, absence of self introspection, no deep questioning about their art, paint like their outstanding teachers…? I have sometimes the feeling that I am “just an eye”! No brain behind! Perhaps painting what is around me allows to hide myself from…me. Perhaps as the cavemen, who painted animals, hands on the their natural walls, painting what is around is a means of telling the world:” By my realistic paintings, I provide proof that this world exists, so I am relieved: I am sure I do not live in a virtual world; my paintings are the indisputable mirrors of what I see really around me. And after each finished paintings, my metaphysical anxieties do not take control of my mind anymore.

  2. Realism shares what we’ve seen, how we’ve seen it, and how we experienced it. Often aspects others haven’t noticed, overlooked or ignored. It makes the viewer experience an element of life anew. For the artist it reaffirms our experience of life. And despite a century of modern art, realism still communicates to more people more readily.

  3. Great reply, Marion! I understand what Alain means, but over the decades I have let go of the conscious (self-conscious) attempts to create some piece of great metaphysical import. Art is communication (at least in my opinion) — in some way, whether we want it to, plan for it to, or do not — our thoughts, attitudes, emotional states while working, beliefs, and so on will impact our work. So even if we paint the same still-life as a bunch of other people, our own imprint will be on our image of it.

    I don’t worry about metaphysical content per se anymore. I am a metaphysical being (as well as psychical), and that will show through in whatever I do. 🙂

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