Broken Promises: A Visual Statement Pretty Much Devoid of Sentimentality
What began as a minor social disappointment led me to entertaining total social chaos.
The broken promise sparked the thought that, as an artist, I make a promise with every mark. Every mark promises the viewer something—whether it’s maintaining a direction, a movement, establishing a hue and/or order or chaos, we trust the artistic statement to continue whatever it has started.
Carl Jung is quoted @ brainyquote.com as stating: “The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition.” For sure, politics spring to mind with this perspective.
Or how about Jonathan Swift’s “Promises and pie-crust are made to be broken”?
Thoughts such as these, and life experiences, led to the development of six images (see below).
“Broken Promise” #1 represents the little promise one might make to oneself like, “I will NOT eat that piece of cake.” Crumbs remain 15 minutes later; no biggy, unless this act really does threaten one’s well-being.
Image #2’s broken promise might involve other people, an animal, or a person, carrying a potentially larger and more damaging impact yet still not horrid. Harmonious balance easily re-establishes.
Art work #3 represents when things start devolving: part of the social contract allowing us a feeling of safety and community starts to unravel. Change is in motion and its direction unknown.
Works #4–6 imagines the unraveling leading to a new, and most likely unexpected, social order.
Part of me imagines abstract images such as this being used in developing critical thinking. Each image is the same size, uses the same outline of three rectangular shapes, each contains a 90/30/horizontal and vertical color patterning, widths begin as consistent, marks are consistent with direction only in #1. Small changes in this paradigm lead to the final statement. So, if one were to assign say, Earth/Air/Water to the three consistent rectangular shapes, and other factors to the colors and varying widths, what sort of scenarios could be explored? Or name three people, etc. I think it’d be fun.