Thursday, September 22, 2016
162. Notes on Celeste Lecaroz's Portraits: #3 They are not "portraits"
They are abstract art, she declares as I point out to her some lines of the face in her work which diverge from the reference. To abstract from reality is to cut from the real world and paste it on the canvas. To expect that it is an exact graphic representation of reality is futile, because it is neither its intent (if it has an intent at all) or its means. Instead, this kind of art uses the language of colors, shapes, forms, and lines, which are pure abstractions. Thus, to appreciate Celeste's art, one has to expect the colors, strokes, lines, shapes, to speak louder than the image of the face, which does not have to be a perfect copy. But the face is central to her art. It is what makes the pieces accessible to the untrained eye, the shock of recognition that shows the subjects in colors which represent who they were, who they are, and who they would ever be. I read somewhere that it was a tongue in cheek blessing to tell someone, "May you be painted by Picasso," as Picasso's paintings of faces have displaced eyes, ears, and nose. It takes a lot of education to actually like a portrait by Picasso. But, it's abstract art -- just like a Celeste Lecaroz portrait, which a portrait it is not.