Sunday, April 2, 2017

On March 31st I attended Tyanna Buie's artist talk for the opening of her show in the Wriston Gallery. The thing that struck me the most was the personal nature of her work, and how it had become more personal over time. She spoke of being told that her art was too personal, and how she saw that as a challenge to make it even more personal still. There is something powerful in an artist expressing their personal story and emotions through their work, especially in the context of art as a means to connect people. Many people who dislike artist's making personal work seem to think that the personal nature distances the audience from the work and from the artist, but oftentimes it can have the opposite effect. In the same way in which people relate to each other through emotions and experiences, people can relate to art through the emotions and experiences that it represents. Art that is of a personal nature is compelling because it gives us a feeling of genuine connection to the artist, and oftentimes a sense of trust as well. The arts trusts the audience enough to be honest about who they are, what they have been through, and how they feel. In a world where most people are taught to hide the true extent of their thoughts and emotions, this makes a powerful statement, as well as an impact on both audience and artist.

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