A few years ago I was recommended ‘The Painted Word’ by Tom Wolfe. It grabbed my attention right from the start, especially this bit in the opening pages:
In short: frankly, these days, without a theory to go with it, I can’t see a painting.
Wolfe was arguing that art has evolved so far beyond how we normally perceive and interact with the world that we need a map to find our way inside – a cheat sheet or ‘theory’ that helps us connect with the objects created by another.
And when that theory gets mixed in with the thoughts formed by a lifetime of experiences? That’s what builds our own perspective of another’s work. And this perspective is unique – no one else will perceive that work exactly the same as you. Sure, your viewpoint may have a lot of overlap with others, but it’ll be coloured by your own unique experiences; the sort of nuances that bubble up from your personal journey through the cosmos.
In 2015, the journeys of Sachs and Wolfe overlapped in a conversation hosted by The New York Academy of Art. It was billed as ‘Tom vs. Tom’ and it’s a great one. Worth checking out.
If you’re just tuning in, welcome. You’re reading Thank God It’s Monday – TGIM – a weekly series were we smush together a bit of Sachs’ theory with our own experiences. You can think of these as the view of Sachs’ world, as seen from here.
Photo: New York Academy of Art
Originally written for the Sachsian Syndicate.
Previously: TGIM 27 - …That takes some adjustment – paying freight costs to ship digital files around the place. We are so accustomed to sending digital content across the Internet for almost nothing..
Become a Patreon to get early and behind-the-scenes access along with email notifications for each new post.
Hi! Subconsciously you already know this, but let's make it obvious. Hopefully this article was helpful. You might also find yourself following a link to Amazon to learn more about parts or equipment. If you end up placing an order, I make a couple of dollarydoos. We aren't talking a rapper lifestyle of supercars and yachts, but it does help pay for the stuff you see here. So to everyone that supports this place - thank you.