Painting is alive, but not well.
Painting is an archaic medium, often declared dead over the past 100 years, but still alive. It is alive, but not well. The time of real original painters seems to have passed, with a few exceptions. Real original paintings, may they be concerned with the visual or rather the emotional or spiritual world, move us beyond the pure recognition of their theme; they rather transcend someones visual, emotional or spiritual experience into something tangible which the observer can connect to beyond his/her capacity of reason. But there is also the fascination to trace the moves of the painters hand, tracing his experience, his understanding of the world.
Even the earliest paintings known to mankind, the cave paintings at Lascaux, painted at the time of hunters/gatherers are doing exactly that, a far reaching connection is established between these cave painters and the 21 century observer, a bridge over time, transcending the experience of early humans.
Painting is mystical in a sense that it can’t be explained, but the results speak a universal language. It is only original painting when the result can not be expressed in any other way than through this universal visual language. I don’t believe in the dichotomy of ‘abstract’ and ‘figurative’, all painting is abstract in the sense that it does need an abstraction in order to make space in a two dimensions. And all paintings do make space. There is no such a thing than a ‘flat painting’.
Painting is a discipline, the one who paints needs to acquire knowledge and practice for many years in order to master the medium. He needs to know who he is and he needs to find a way to express his unique view in his own original way, speaking the universal language.
I don’t believe paintings need titles, titles are a crutch, to give observers a hint, a direction to look, in a way they are a concession to our times.