Suggestivism, as devined by deviantArt



Birth of a New Category or Beginning of the End of Categories?

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be another “ism” on the art world horizon, what with the growing accessibility of allart technique and technology rendering all the “schools of art” equally available and doable and therefore making impossible the dominanceor even existence of any current art “movement” … comes “suggestivism,” the “ism” best summing up what art is in our lives today, definedmore by what it is not, rather than what it is.

“Suggestivist” art is not slave to any one particular type of current art, from pencils to oils to photo-manipulation. It’s not about technology or technique.

It’s largely apolitical and need not promote any particular “message.” Whether defined by Sadakichi Hartmann (circa. 1900; the first to cointhe term) as simply being a reaction to overly cerebral and insufficiently poetic art in all its forms, from canvases to literature, or by NathanSpoor, a current artist and advocate, as a “process” by which the artist lets go of constrictive didactic narratives and dogmatic theories and letsthe will of his or her muse take over so that truly poetic art can be created, whether that art “makes sense” or not. The artist allows the soul ofhis deepest artistic intuitions “suggest” what to create, without all the over-thinking. The artist can ponder the “meaning” of the vision producedlater, along with everyone else. The one thing that “suggestivist” artworks have in common is that the viewer is encouraged (compelled!) to imaginehis or her own interpretation of the piece. These artworks generally always have recognizable elements, but the real world ends there, as theseelements are usually then twisted into the impossible conjunctures of mad dream logic. Suggestivist art can sometimes suggest the frightening andhaunting, but usually the emphasis is on the playful and wildly unapologetically creative.

“Suggestivism” is as apolitical as our largely apolitical times, though usually informed with ambiguous political memes and imagery. It is an artfor our times that does not ask to be analyzed and understood, but presents itself as a cipher or puzzle with no correct answer that commands attentionnone the less. Or it could be just the latest petulant reaction to a public perception of arts experts talking over our heads in their own secret language about what we should and should not like.Time will tell.

Perhaps the greatest thing about “suggestivist” art is the very fact that it is so… “suggestive.”  It’s the ultimate resource for artists (pop & fine),musicians, writers, dancers or just dedicated daydreamers who feel a bit blocked.  Re-charging the creative batteries only requires you spend a little timecreating your own stories to fit the magical creations and constructions of these works, and one’s own inner engines of fantasy and whimsy will soon besweetly humming again.

QuestionsFor the Reader

  1. Should art be political or apolitical?  Or do you think there’s room enough for both?
  2. Do you sense there being any current “movement” in the arts world today?  Is this a good or bad state of things?
  3. Do you try to “figure out” an artist’s intent or message when looking at art, or do you simply decide whether you like or dislike each piece of art?
  4. In your own art, do you try to transmit any sort of message, or do you concern yourself only with technique and aesthetics?

4 responses »

  1. “Suggestivism, as devined by deviantArt”

    This was an article I read over the summer on dA. Honestly, I believe it’s either a subcategory of Surrealism or it IS Surrealism without the “club membership”. I would also like to take this chance to say that your artistic style should be what determines what category your art goes into, not whether you kiss enough art board-of-directors rump! It’s like the cool kids kicking someone out of the lunch table group…

  2. I find this “new form” to be highly rampant in the younger art world right now. Many of the images suggest a strong opinion but many are just interesting to look at. Many young artists just like to make art because it looks “cool.” The meaning or context tends to come afterward. With video game art becoming the new norm that young people are seeing most often it is not surprising that context or meaning usually come after the image is completed. I love the thought that art is moving into an age when an incomplete thought can rouse viewers’ emotions without intending to. Whether this becomes the new “ism” or not, it does give a view of where the mindset of artists are now; all over the place.

  3. Sooooo….basically what I got out of that article is that Suggestivism is a style that has no defining characteristics, except that it is meaningless and imaginative. Using that as a definition, probably more than 50% of all the art that has been created in the last century could be called “Suggestivism.” If a style is that broad, I don’t think that it can be properly called a style.

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