It’s guest post time, and today’s visiting blogger has a special significance for me. Aniko Carmean was one of the earliest people to befriend me when I first set out my stall in cyberspace, and she’s been a kind and encouraging friend ever since. Her blog is beautifully written and occasionally raw, touching upon all the problems and frustrations associated with putting pen to paper. Her writing hums with verve, insight, and sheer talent.
I’ve read and enjoyed Aniko’s novel, STOLEN CLIMATES, and have been looking forward to her most recent publication, MIXED MEDIA. Aniko has made this short story free to download at Wattpad, Goodreads, or on her blog, and it’s available here for a measly 99 US cents or the equivalent for those who prefer the convenience of Whispernet delivery straight to their Kindles. I’ve read the story, and it’s a thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting exploration of what art is, and what it can mean to different viewers. Aniko is also celebrating the launch of the story with a Rafflecopter giveaway of a $25 gift certificate to Art.com (click the icon below to enter). The giveaway runs from July 17th to August 16th. Participants can register for Aniko’s newsletter, tweet about the story and/or tweet about the giveaway itself. (I’m not yet very well acquainted with the arcane mysteries of Rafflecopter, and hope that this makes sense!)
Anyway, on with Aniko’s post…
A defining characteristic of art is that it inspire a reaction in the person viewing, reading, or listening to the piece. The reaction might be emotional, and range from euphoria to existential dread and terror. Occasionally, a person will encounter the right piece of art at exactly the right time, and the reaction is transcendent, something closer to spiritual. True art communicates across time, between two people who need never meet. Simply put, art is magic. Magic, too, is that the message communicated by a piece of art is “tailored” for each person. You and I can look at the same painting, and come away with different reactions. Perhaps the figs in it please you, because you remember eating fresh figs while on vacation in Italy. The painting evokes nostalgia, a good feeling of having lived rich moments: your life. Perhaps those same figs communicate nothing to me, but the dark, somehow Medieval palette of the painting inspires a sense of loss, because it reminds me of a place I visited as a child. The place is razed, the person with me in the memory is deceased. Given two people, a piece of art will communicate two distinct messages. Further, the same piece of art, encountered by the same person multiple times during her life has the potential to communicate different messages. The communication will be layered like the strata covering an ancient civilization, or the levels of reminiscence present in even the most casual chat between two old friends. I’ve re-read books a decade after I first encountered them, and I can remember what impacted me the first time, and compare that to my current reaction. It’s amazing to see how the message has matured with me, through me. Art evokes a reaction because it gives us a way to encounter ourselves more purely and more deeply than any mirror.
These are the thoughts that led me to write the story MIXED MEDIA. I wondered what it would be like if a third party could intercept the communication between a piece of art and a viewer. Mario Santa Maria, the MIXED MEDIA protagonist, discovers he has this ability.
MIXED MEDIA Blurb:
Mario Santa Maria is an artist who has lost his dreams – literally. Insomnia, unemployment, and a failing relationship are his lot. Things are going badly, and then things get strange. On a visit to the Vos Modern Art Museum, Mario discovers he has the ability to intercept the communication between art and a viewer. MIXED MEDIA is a surreal tale of masterpieces, Delphic sugar cubes, and the promise of new perspectives.
What’s hidden by what we see?
So there you have it – a surreal story about shifting perspectives and the nature of art, all for free or 99c, AND the chance to win a $25 gift certificate! If that doesn’t tempt you, I don’t know what will.
Many thanks to Aniko for posting here today. I’ll probably be quiet for the next few weeks, as I’m going on holiday to the exotic shores of, er, South Wales. Whatever you’re doing in the near future, have a good one!