Days Are Long But Years Are Short

Artist Name: 
Alexander Lawton
Colored Pencil on paper
Dimensions (width x height x depth): 

This piece began as a curious investigation into the difference between what I subconsciously perceive and what I consciously see. Most of the time, we do not consciously pay attention to our literal visual senses. Rather, we pay attention to the meaning that we create as a result of visual perception. I started by actively meditating on the visuals that my eyes took in throughout the day. I may think that I am seeing a street scene as I walk to class, but upon further inspection I am only really seeing organized colors and light and dark tones. My mind then synthesizes these familiar compositions into meaningful visuals. For example, my eyes observe a tapered grey banner lined with varying geometric shapes, while my mind analyzes this image to create the meaning of a street scene that I then navigate with purpose. As I experienced this unusual way of looking at the world, I realized how much I don't actually see. The world, as seen through this lens, has very little logical meaning. Instead, abstract imagery, colors, tones, textures, and shapes are all that make up our visual connection to our reality. This experience seemed very similar to the act of looking at blurry photographs. Meaning and rational clarity are lost, but an emotional sense of life is preserved. I was then inspired to collect different blurry pictures that I have accidentally taken in the past, and draw my favorites in hopes of subverting my own comfortably established perception of reality. How comfortable are you with the way in which you have learned to see the world? How much are you willing to subvert this personal viewpoint?

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