Please allow me to self-review and speak out a bit about the artwork that I personally believe is the most significant that I’ve done so far. It’s about the collage titled “Private Auction“, and I published it last night. It has made absolutely no sensation at all in the TumblR circles, and yet, I believe that this is my best work to date (IMHO).
This is not an easy piece like the ones with a big round ball (e.g. a planet) in the middle of the frame, where the viewer just has to glance at it for 1 second, semi-understand it, and move on. These are the pieces that I’m actually embarrassed about, since they’re often shallow (yet strangely effective with the crowd because of their simplicity). Instead, “Private Auction” is a piece that has the most depth than any of my other artworks so far, and it requires more attention in order to be appreciated.
As with most of my artworks, to understand the piece you need to check the title. Some people reblog but they remove the title, and this does a disservice to my work, since without it they become lame, cheesy, or incomprehensible. I take pride to the fact that my art is rather accessible and hopefully relevant — definitely not super-abstract — because ~80% of the times I’m trying to say something concrete through them, rather than just sit pretty on a wall somewhere (or at a TumblR/FlickR page).
“Private Auction” feels like the still frame of life, or an old movie. We have two gentlemen looking at some artwork on the wall, with an auctioneer refereeing them. The auctioneer is holding a telephone on his hands, potentially having more clients on it. The older man on the back has a larger shadow, revealing the possibility of a darker character. As for the man on the front, he wears a wedding ring.
The naked woman almost blends with the colorful environment in the corner, even if she’s in black and white. She looks sad, like she’s miles away. She’s deep in thoughts, like she doesn’t belong to the scene. It’s only when you actually read the title that it becomes apparent that she is the actual trophy of the auction. The two buyers try to look casual looking at the artwork on the wall, as if they’re trying to mislead us, or as if there’s no difference between a status symbol object (e.g. expensive artwork), and a human being.
I have this belief that art needs to say something more often than not, but unfortunately, most art today is all about “fast aesthetics”, and the “wow” visual factor that lasts 2-3 seconds. In other words, it’s commercial art, an “easy to comprehend” art, specifically built for our excessively fast-paced life. I have a hard time believing that most of today’s commercial art will survive the test of time, and I’m certainly guilty of producing it, since I’ve done some such pieces too (e.g. “Restricted Space Air Show”, “Sunday” etc). But it’s pieces like “Private Auction” that give me hope that I’m able to produce something of some social importance. That maybe, since the work is mildly disturbing, it leaves a deeper, lasting impression to those who bothered to really look at it, rather than glance at it. That maybe, these viewers will be touched by the terrible situation depicted, a situation that is all around us today, and become more sensitive to the subject of modern slavery.