The Language of Art

The Language of Art

Wet Smoke

Sometimes it is hard to decide whether I chose to be an artist or art chose me.  I believe that the ability to go forth into a dedicated life of an artist is a decision that is not always one’s choice. I myself flirted with the notion of being an artist, but never possessed a relationship with it until that fateful day in 1994, in Monument Valley, when I had an epiphany. I was given clarity through creating abstract art to connect with the beholder.

There are countless ways that influence an artist to create but mine is very humbling. I have learned that I’m “a voice in the chorus”, and that my art creates a relationship with the beholder. I have a need for the beholder to become a part of my experience, to share in the truthfulness of the atmosphere of my art. I believe that this truthfulness must communicate to the beholder. And I believe our subconscious is awakened by the language of art.

This language starts with the title of a painting which comes from the story that awaits the beholder to discover.  When I begin the process of creating a painting all the connections that form it, its narrative, begin to present a name or title. Consider that a novel, poetry, or music anchors itself with a title, so should art. As the title becomes clear to me I translate this thought or feeling into a guide to what paint to leave or take away.  It is a feeling that comes though me.  I’m guided by the translation of title not the process of application. I work though my influence of theSonoranDesert, its topography, texture and light.  Each painting has many layers that create infinite conjoined colors.  Some paintings can take weeks or even months because the narrative or title isn’t clear at first.  This explains why I can’t make a painting, but the creativity has to come through my being onto the canvas.

For example, Ogilvie/Pertl Gallery shows one of my paintings titled “Wet Smoke”. Imagine an open fire on a cool desert evening, doused with water, the sooty smoky steam rising into the crisp clear desert air.  The painting vibrates with the sound of color.  One senses the energy released by water and fire. This is the truthfulness of atmosphere, the relationship of emotion that I’m trying to convey.

Many times during my artistic career I have had patrons approach me to scold me by saying that they were not a fan of abstract art but had to buy my work and I needed to tell them why. This inspired me to articulate and present the authority and truthfulness of my art.  I had to write it down so I did in my book “Chaos On The Canvas – The Art of Hilario”. In the book, I describe my theory of how abstract art is an emotional and heartfelt state of universal communication.

I know that there are countless paths an artist can take to follow his or her inspiration.  Mine is simple, one moment I wasn’t, then I was an artist; that simple and that complicated. And my art allows me to share an emotional connection within the atmosphere of my work with whoever beholds it.

This essay was originally published in the Ogilvie/Pertl Gallery Newsletter in February 2012.