Art Is in the Eyes of the Beholder

March 2, 2018
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Art. Art everywhere.

My eyes scan the room, like the south pole of a magnet looking for the north, and are instantly pulled to a piece called  Entwined #2 by Gail Katz-James. It consists of welded steel rods, washers, and wire along with some beads. To me, it looks as if there are four cacti all crossing over one another. They are made of steel rods bent into a rounded shape with washers painted in various shades of blues and greens, wired in amongst the steel rods to fill the inside part of the cacti. Within some of the washers there are beads, also in shades of of greens and blues. The wiring used in this piece varies from a light orange to a dark purple. The light orange tends to stay on the washers that don't have any beads within them. It looks like if you were to  touch it, it might actually poke you.

The larger steel rods that make up this piece, are a dark blue, that looks as if it were a couple shades off of black. These rods are bent into sections that make up the different cacti, along with the larger grooves within the cacti. The various shades of blues and greens used in the washers, give certain areas a sort of shadowed effect, along with the beads. The small wiring, of different colors gives the effect of spines on the cacti.

I think that Gales Katz-James wanted to show a very detailed piece, that can also be delicate.. Some people may just see wires and washers. Some may see what I see, cacti, and think nothing of it. But these are the people who are looking with their eyes and also thinking with their eyes. For they are only seeing the surface. People who understand art are not only looking with their eyes, they are looking with their heart, mind, and soul. For they are putting their own meaning behind a creation of another.

One observation I think people will make is that this represents today's world. Everyone is just in various shades of the same color. We are all woven together, connected as one. We are all almost the same, except on the inside where our individualism lies, like a bead inside a washer. Another way people could look at this is in a form of organized chaos. I think people could look at this and think it is a bunch of washers wired together, but in an organized way. Life is a messy thing. But when you look back on it, it seems to look like an organized chaos.
What I find neat about this piece is the shadow effect that I had from the angle I was sitting at to write this very paper. The two larger rods cast  two large round shadows , sounds pretty basic right?  What I like most about this is what's attached to it. The washers along with the beads make a sort of a swirl effect to the shadow. Its as if there is artwork within this artwork. It looks as if someone with a delicate hand ever so lightly painted a beautiful piece of art in various shades of grey.

Sitting here, with my back against the wall, looking across the room at this piece, I see that I am more drawn to it than I was in the first place. When I first sat down, I felt as if I needed to rush my words onto this paper, for I would not have enough time to explain my every thought. But as I continued to write, I felt  more relaxed than anything. My words are seeming to just flow out of the pencil with little to no effort at all. Whether it is this lovely piece of art in front of me, the mist softly coming down outside, *the calming smell of old building mixed with new art, or the *classical music streaming through my headphones, I don’t know what it is, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like I was meant to be at this exact place at this exact time.

I look at what seems to be cacti and I think of people. How we all have walls and barriers, like the spines of a cactus, but on the inside we are all the same.Soft, caring, and truly who we are. Like the inside of a cactus. There are no spines. Just a soft interior that can house many animals, along with the necessities to keep it alive. I feel like a lot of people live like this. We all have fears of what others will say about us. About if we were to be who we truly are. About really everything. The world is judgmental. That's why we build up these walls, and grow these spines. We are afraid of what others are going to say. How others are going to perceive us. We are so worried about other people's opinions, that we’ve forgotten that we have our own.

But every so often, you find those people who break those walls down, who cut through those spines and see you for who you truly are.

Some may laugh and leave. Those are the ones who make the walls thicker. Those are the people who are the most insecure on the inside, so to make themselves feel better, they make it their job to tear others down.
But every so often you find someone who is the same as you on the inside. These are the people that will be with you through thick and thin. The ones who will be there no matter what. The ones who broke through the walls and permanently kept them down.

Like a cactus, we house water. Whether you think of this water as metaphorical, or serious it is up to you. For me, I think of it as both. For we need water to survive, but we also need it to thrive. When water is scarce, a cactus will not bloom. It will conserve all of  its water into keeping it alive. But when the rain comes, beauty follows. I like to think of the rain as someone who breaks down your inner walls, someone who hands you a glass of water.


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