Veil Series: 5
2010, Photo Composition, 23"x46"
Artist: Anthony Vodraska
Should a work of visual art be freed of names? Is narrative, subject or the artist's own thoughts about the work necessary? How far can the work depart from the familiar and still engage the viewer? Is it sufficient that a work be evocative, as opposed to provocative? Or is there a place for the transcendent in work and how can a viewer experience that anew freed of common symbols or references designed to evoke emotions, memories and associations?
As the Veil Series matures with subsequent works, these questions are emerging as important to my understanding of this body of work. The art of blending has effectively obscured the source images that I took of Frank Gehry's architecture which was used to create "Veil Series: 5." I developed a narrative for the Veil Series after completing the first piece in this series, entitled "Burn Away the Veils." Does that make the narrative incidental to the work of art?
The most common response when people see work in this Series is to make a nautical reference to sails blowing in the wind. Is that association any less important than the narrative that I have come to associate with the work? More importantly, does the spiritual content of my narrative in itself make the work transcendent? Probably not. But it does motivate me to carry on developing this series. And so I will.
I am fortunate to be married to fellow artist, Anita Gilbert, and enjoy long discussions over coffee pondering some of these questions.