Why would I say that “Art IS Abstract”?
Well, in my opinion, the only way anything qualifies as art is that it is abstract. To the degree that an image has been diverted from displaying simple reality, but altered and manipulated to present a new perspective of the subject, abstracted from reality – to that degree, it becomes art. As long as the artist employs image manipulation for the definite purpose of making his artistic statement and it is perceived and accepted by an audience – to that extent it is art.
On the other hand, even if a so-called artist masters the skill to faithfully reproduce an image and makes no effort to alter or manipulate the image in any way, for the purpose of making a statement – he fails to be an artist. Art is not synonymous with the ability to draw or paint.
So, am I saying that a photo-realist is not an artist? Not at all! A photo-realist, as a photographer would, has carefully selected his image, the pose, the angle, lighting, and composition for the work he’ll produce. He won’t waste his time and skill on just any image. The image is artistically orchestrated. Furthermore, the photo-realist will be very intent on carefully developing his image to imitate a photograph, which is the goal of the photo-realist. He will incorporate the same tonal range characteristics typical of film, as well as barrel distortion and limited depth of field. He purposely manipulates his image to make his artistic statement. The photo-realist does not paint what he sees. His image is actually abstracted from reality!
Whether a painting is classical, impressionistic, realistic, or primitive, it is the abstraction that makes it great.
There can be no art without abstraction.
Art is abstract.