MAGAZINE // ARTISTS
IT'S ALL IN THE MIND...
To really be able to appreciate any kind of art work or visual creative expression, we sometimes ask our followers to sit down and for a few seconds seriously consider and imagine the incredible, surely daunting at times task any artists is faced with, namely communicating a very personal vision of the world, a tiny piece of their soul to the wider audience and to have them see what they see and have them perceive what they perceive.
Perceptions are the basis for our understanding of the world. For the act of seeing, for instance, it is not enough to simply project the outside world onto the retina and from there onto a sort of screen in the brain. Perception is not just the passive recording of sensory stimuli, but rather an active mental reconstruction of the real world that surrounds us. As a result, our brain dismantles what appears on the retina into highly abstract bits of information that correspond in the final analysis to a sort of symbolic representation of the outside world; a self-made model of the world.
What we perceive really depends essentially on unconscious cognitive decisions and conclusions. The brain usually makes these on its own without us having to bother. In doing so, it uses previously collected knowledge, experience, expectations, and prejudices.
Now, try with one image, composition, a bit of light and a lot of artistic and aesthetic heart to surpass these filters, to dismantle the unconscious prejudices and experiences, to evoke emotions and make the viewer look twice. Have him consciously consider your art, your underlying message, maybe even your personal belief and either follow your thinking or do a bit of thinking themselves. To do all of this you often don’t get more than a few seconds of undivided attention.
Meet Abelardo Morell, who as the Sunday New York Times puts it quite rightly: “wants us to pay attention, to understand that there’s more to seeing than what we think we perceive. There’s no reason a cityscape can’t bloom on quiet, white bedsheets, or the Golden Gate Bridge can’t be shockingly found superimposed on the very ground.” We are extremely proud to be able to showcase some of the so very original work of this distinguished and compelling artist, who we feel knows exactly how to make the viewer leave their lazy comfort zone of preconceptions and hence experience the magical, intellectual and challenging world of his (Morell's) mind and eye with open heart.
Abelardo Morell was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948. He immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1962. Morell received his undergraduate degree in 1977 from Bowdoin College and an MFA from the Yale University School of Art in 1981. In 1997 he received an honorary degree from Bowdoin College.
His work has been collected and shown in many galleries, institutions and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York, the Chicago Art Institute, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Houston Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum and over seventy other museums in the United States and abroad. A retrospective of his work organized jointly by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Getty in Los Angeles and the High Museum in Atlanta is on view until May 2014.