Sunday, January 26, 2014

There is No Immediate Love/Hate

How long does it take you to appreciate a piece of  visual art?  Sure, you could spend any length of time imaginable admiring something, but generally speaking, doesn't most art compel a response rather quickly?  You see a painting and find it haunting.  A sculpture leaves you cold; you move on.  Someone has crafted a quilt that suggests "heirloom" before it is even one year old. Even music asks us to make up our minds fairly quickly.  Yes, you could develop a deep appreciation for unfamiliar music over time, but most of us can hear a song and assess rather quickly if we'd rather change the station.

And then there's word.

For artists who paint with words, we don't have much hope of appealing to the instantaneous resonance one can feel with music and visual arts.

Who pulls an unknown, unopened novel off the shelf and declares, "I must have this collection of words in my home!  It is amazing and wonderful and I get chills just looking at the cover."?

But you could easily walk into an art gallery and feel that connection.  Love at first sight with no investment or risk at all.  You just walked in and fell in love.

Artists show you a destination.
Writers ask you to take a journey.

Writers ask for a little more--a bigger risk of your time and interest.  I may not be able to win you over at first glance, but sit with me for a spell.  We may become friends yet.

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