I’ve mentioned before on this blog (though admittedly in passing) that my favorite artist is Mark Rothko, the 20th century abstract expressionist. He’s often made fun of because his pieces are, usually, blocks of color on canvas. So many people (and I was one of them) look at his pieces and say “Where’s the skill in that? Anyone could do that! How is this art?”
The big turn for me happened several years ago when studying for the lecture/series I did on Beauty. As I spent nearly a year immersing myself in the philosophy, theory, and theology of aesthetics, I came to finally “get” abstract art. And with it, I realized how to connect with Rothko; and my art sensibilities have been the same since. For more, read my post on the beauty of art.
Still don’t get it? Here’s a quick exercise. Look at the two pieces below. The one on the right is the genuine Rothko. The one on the left is one of those reproductions where someone paints it inch for inch as close to the original as possible.