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Perspective = Art ~ Art = Perspective

Updated on April 16, 2013
"The Eye of the Spirit"
"The Eye of the Spirit" | Source

PERSPECTIVES was originated and is being guided, (along with other regulars), by Mickey Haist, Sr., set forth in his 'An Introduction'.

Subjects to be featured are chosen from among the regulars for each month, for which each of the contributors submits his/her perspective on it as a hub.

The Perspectives Series

Martie, Bravewarrior, Docmo, Marjoucor, Mickey, Sr.
Martie, Bravewarrior, Docmo, Marjoucor, Mickey, Sr.

The regular coterie of writers/ contributors for the series consists of:

  • Martie Coetser
  • Shauna L. Bowling (Bravewarrior)
  • Mohan Kumar (Docmo)
  • Maria Couchara Jordan (Marcoujor)
  • Mickey Haist, Sr.

    I'm Nellieanna and am honored to be a guest writer on this Perspectives Series subject, ART, chosen for April, 2013.

Perceiving Art in Perspective

I find myself in tune, not only with much of that ancient wisdom, but with much of Mickey's original explanation of what the series is, its purposes and its premises in the wider sense. Applying my perception or perspective of how these relate to ART is especially fascinating to me.

I've been associated with art all my life in various manifestations, but most of that has been in its study, practice and application. Looking at it now from a personal, philosophical perspective is most exciting. I won't be discussing art, per se, but its relationship with human perception at its creation level and as it's experienced by others; - all from the only perspective available to me: mine.

Perception and Perspective in General

Before embarking on that, I need to clarify what I mean by basic terms involved, which in itself is an example of individual perspective and subjective perception. Whether you can agree in principle with this background, please consider it, in order to follow how PERSPECTIVE will be related to ART here.

Personal Perspective

One's perspective of whatever is to be beheld, contemplated, explored, practiced - whatever - is his only perceived reality of it. What others report of 'things' will be from their perspectives and perceptions, which will come into ours as something to be perceived and filtered through our own perspectives.

To judge others isn't merely unkind; it's preposterous.

We've each only a slightest idea of what another thinks or feels and why, of what his perspective and perception of anything is and what has formed it. What we should know is that our idea of his has necessarily been distorted by our own perceptions, perspectives, interpretations, and biases, which are also based on our accumulated formation of them, - and vice versa: a constant source of conflict, which needn't be.

Despite unique and different perspectives, we've commonalities as kindred diverse humans. If we share good-will and desire to accept and to be accepted and to get along together, we CAN. Taking the moment to THINK about what 'it' seems before reacting to 'it', having awareness that our view of 'it' is once-removed from 'its' original source, - another complete person, - helps.

One need not concur in order to accept 'it' (another's view) and to grant validity for another's perspectives and reasoning. One merely needs to allow the 'other' his own validity for the whole person he IS, with unique experiences and determining factors shaping his perspectives.

This is 'giving benefit of the doubt', because we should doubt that own view of others' realities is accurate enough to sit in judgment of those realities, which are basically similar to our own at least in their humanly relative validity.

OK - now that I have that out of my system. . . .

Try to not

Make your sense

Out of another's


And let him tell you

What it is.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay


Perspective has various definitions and applications. In the context of this series, I believe it is this one:

  • a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; point of view.

Synonyms: outlook, view, viewpoint, point of view, standpoint, position, stand, stance, angle, slant, attitude, frame of mind, frame of reference, approach, way of looking, interpretation, vista, panorama, prospect, aspect.

So - perspective of a topic is a subjective view of it. What else?

How externals become our own perspectives of reality

Nothing we experience enters our consciousness as an objective raw 'thing' or event but must enter through our own senses, existing thoughts and emotions, from whence it becomes our own perception of the thing, after further inevitably being admitted into our awareness through many layers of our own capabilities which allow us to bring it before our personal, subjective 'court' of tests for validity and useful conclusions, measured against and by filters of our past experiences and our traits, biases, and training. Even one's right and left brain priorities; even current states of health, what's impacted us and our outlook that very day, will have refocused and altered our present 'view' of things, which may change; and it's all processed in accord with our personal ability to discern and evaluate it for such truth as we can discern after it's been highly altered by this process of assimilation into our beings.

Each of us has no choice but to put incoming information through his and her own subjective processes in order to capture and retain impressions of what "it" on the outside of us might be. It's the way it is. It's the way we're built.

The outside beyond us is pretty much neutral, meantime, except for other humans and creatures involved in their own subjective realities. Each of us imposes our subjective perspectives on all we behold and contemplate. So to each of us, these subjective impressions becomes THE reality we perceive. What other?


'Perspective' as an art device

Another definition of perspective touches upon creation of art itself for benefit of subjective viewers:

  • the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.

So what else is that "particular point" but the viewer's own observation point, with his eyes and his interpretation of what is seen as if it had real depth and distances; i.e.: - his perspective?

The lines in such a representation of a scene are an artistic technique to include the viewer as they appear to separate, approach and enclose the viewer in the impression, seeming to approach him from a distant point where they seem to converge and disappear - in 2D - for the representation of 'further away'. This illusion of receding from the viewer's standpoint is very much as it is to a person in a real 3D situation in which he is physically included, looking out of his eyes at his surroundings, and interpreting the external with depth perception, in which, of course, he seems to be the close central point in it. It is exactly as one relates in every situation; also an illusion. Each person on a crowded street IS the same kind of 'central point" in the whole scene in his own perspective! Of course, none is THE central point, except at it only seems to each mind.

We cannot escape our own illusions of being the central position in all we behold as it all seems to expand and to approach toward our eyes, and to recede from them, as though we really were the center and final authority on the view 'out there' beyond our own heads. Even though we 'know' it's illusion, it constantly presents itself as if ourself were its main character.

That is just with physical externals. In psychological externals, it's similar, but harder to grasp. Consequently, ideas contrary to ours inherently SEEM incorrect. They're more likely to thrust themselves upon our attention than others' perspective of physical externals. We observe others' physical impressions only if they represent them in art renditions which we see. But we're barraged with other's non-physical subjective IDEAS.

As we move around in a place and from one place to another, our 'picture' of the surroundings seems actually to adjust itself to our position, so that all 'out there' almost seems to be moving to accommodate us! We 'know' it doesn't move, but it's by this that we perceive it as we're moving, keeping our perceived position in it centered, though it is simply not so. No wonder people used to think the Earth was the center of everything. The community perspective interpreted it that way! Each of us does the same within our narrower perspectives of external reality.

The artistic technique of representing 3D perspective on 2D surfaces provides and subtly preserves the illusion that subjective point-of-reference IS the person's own as he would process the information in reality, just as it's being conveyed by artistic representation. We take these illusions so for granted that we almost forget we are not the center of it all in what must be objective reality. This reinforcement is inescapable; it's everywhere we are and go. Our own perspectives simply follow us to bring "everything" into our consciousness, depicting its center as ourselves.

A walk around sidewalk art

The art form called "Pavement Art" further distorts perspective lines painted by artists on a long flat surface of a street or pavement which has its own 3D perspective, unlike a 2D canvas, so as to create a more complicated illusion of different perspectives for viewers, including depth, height, representing 2D drawings of objects made to look so 3D-realistic that people walking on what are actually flat surfaces become cautious to not "fall into" or "bump against" the painted illusions. Seen from any other perspectives than the intended where they look like what they represent, they're vastly distorted!

These artists are able to imagine and calculate distortions needed to create such illusory effects to be perceived by viewers, whose own imaginations are engaged to interpret them as the artists intended, if viewed from a designated position from which the actual mathematical and artistic distortions blend and fade into what appears a realistic scene. ALL this distorted perception and perspective exists only in the subjective minds of all involved.


My Hub Title's Bold Claims

My hub title makes a bold claim that Perspective = Art and Art = Perspective, as is illustrated by the use of artistic techniques and interpretations being described. Remember: Art depends on individuals' perspective, both from artist and viewer. The illusion of what is represented must be perceived and accepted by the minds. It has no other 'screen'. It's the same way 'reality' is received, perceived and interpreted!

Further is that whatever one creates artistically IS his or her own perspective; there is nothing else by which to create or to interpret ART. One's own perspective is his own art and creation. One's own perspective views and interprets others' artistic efforts. The artist is that point of reference from which his own artistic perspectives emanate, which translate so as to become the point of reference of those who will view it. The beholder is that point of reference at which reception and interpretation of art occurs. Both art and perspective are so intertwined as to BE part and parcel of each other in the creative process.

The artist's perspective may have been stirred and inspired from his perception of external impressions of nature or it may be entirely internally structured from his imagination; or a combination of both. In fact, any of one's perceptions are from either of those perspectives of stimuli or their combinations, as well, seasoned by one's basic interpretations of what is conceived to be and accepted as reality at various levels. The result is that we largely live in a 'reality' of our own mostly illusory creation.

There's a slightly negative 'interpretation' of what it is to be artful or crafty, as though it somehow misrepresents 'reality'. News Flash: Everything one expresses is his own representation of his perception of 'reality', and is not 'Reality'! ART is a broad category of endeavor composed essentially of personal perspective, translated onto a surface or media, whether the output is art, literature or 'creative thinking' leading to discovery. So, essentially, are science and engineering!

So - the oft-asked question . . .


. . . may be moot.

Can they be separated? For each, artist and beholder, all there IS is his own perspective, either the conception and expression of the rendering by its artist or its reception and interpretation by its beholder.

Kinds of Art and Perspectives

That there are prized works of art which are despised by many viewers, as well as untouted works treasured by some esoteric admirers, are facts. Some folks see no point in abstract art. Others consider representational art as robotic, lacking in imagination. Some folks adore landscapes or 'still lifes'. Others prefer human forms and activities in artistic renderings. There are preferences in media, such as watercolors or oils applied on certain types of 'canvas': maybe ceiling tiles or bricks! Some revere black and white art, some gravitate to muted colors while others to vivid colors. Standards of what is considered 'beautiful' arise and gave way to change or outrageous disregard of such rules.

The central characteristic of art as subjective perspective can both account for and become lost among details, diversity and distractions associated with the world of ART!

There are no 'final authorities' on much of any thing which touches human awareness and perspective; certainly not to be found in areas involving what is admittedly personal 'taste', another term for subjective perspective. Monetary value is assigned accordingly!

ART is not limited to any types of creative output, which are many: painting, sculpture, film-making, culinary design, architecture, home docor, embroidery, landscaping, photography, flower arranging, pottery, textile design, choreography, fashion design and illustration. To whatever people apply their creativity and imagination becomes an Art form, with personal perspectives, advocates and markets emerging.

It is personal perspective and perception of artist and viewer which make it ART.


Abstract Examples

The perspectives of various abstract or avant-guarde artists, such as Dali or Jean Paul Gaultier, creating on the 'edge' of each of their various art forms seem to play with and tease the idea that imagery in what and how artists capture perspectives in their art is as each of them SEES and percieves external things. With abstract forms of art, it comes mostly from artists' imagination imposed on their materials.

There just aren't any melting watches and faces 'out there', and use of metals and wires for clothing really isn't illustrated in 'reality' or formulated by 'common sense'. It's abstract art.

For abstract artists, it is as their imaginations manipulate their materials with their imaginations to invent perspectives which they translate and turn into paintings, statues or couture!

It also teases viewers imaginations to apply themselves to participate in these images with a borrowed perspective which may be found uncomfortably unfamiliar. For some viewers, it may be too great a leap which is easily fixed by rejecting and not liking the art form's examples. Other folks may easily key in with their imaginations and love these art forms. Some may cultivate a tolerance or liking for them. In all cases, very subjective perspectives and motives are involved.

As is illustrated here, Gaultier designs many kinds of far-out costumes, some for performers such as Madonna and Lady GaGa, but he also creates more normal, wearable and beautiful clothes for men and women. Here, though, is a look at a few of his abstract designs. I had the opportunity to see a showing of some of his most famous designs at the Dallas Art Museum. The fine workmanship and incredibly imaginative designs are amazing.

Far-out art forms

Art has been created with dryer lint and of course, we've seen lovely sculpture made with fruit, vegetables, snow, ice, and sand on beaches, along with more traditional materials. There seem to be no materials an imaginative artist can't use to create art. His personal perspectives need have no preset limits.

The imagination to think of using some of these materials, and to devise techniques and to master their skills is something to behold. Actually the more accepted materials began as someone's imaginative choice, from paints to clay and stone.

ART is PERSPECTIVE and vice versa!

Video: Art With Salt: The Joker

There's an endless array of illustrations of The Artist's Eye, which also involves the viewer's eye if that ART is to have life and being. It's one way we humans share our personal, subjective perceptions of reality which must be filtered through each others' subjectivities.

It's an example of giving others 'benefit of doubt' whenever we seem to see things differently or 'at odds', knowing that's inevitable, even when we seem to be 'in sync'. There are discrepancies because of individual differences in perspective, subjective filters and personal senses which form unique perceptions and perspectives, though we can still be compatible.

Each of us is a mini-universe of perspectives which go to make it the wonderfully diverse and interesting world of "us all". Getting along is a function of realizing that our differences are special, necessary and valuable, rather than becoming points of contention.

No one's perspective is the end-all or be-all of the universe, even though, to each, it may seem to be at times, being the central field of one's perspective. We must learn to give consideration to others' perspectives enough to understand and respect the people having them.

Though we 'see through a glass darkly' when it comes to others' perspective, even more so to objective truth, and even though to each of us, our own perspectives may seem bright, clear and flawless, we can awaken perspective to the diversity and appreciate it. Real humility is needed to admit, with Socrates that ". . .I KNOW nothing." I only perceive.

But what fun to enjoy and share PERSPECTIVES; - that is an ART!


Unless otherwise attributed, all written and graphic material herein is originated and copyrighted by © Nellieanna H. Hay and may not be copied, duplicated, or otherwise used with my express permission.

A note:

Marcourjor will not be publishing a Perspectives this time, because she's taking a well-earned break. VickiW will publish in her stead.


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