Artist's Statement

J.P. Pendergrass Studios

Artist's Statement

I'll be the first to confess that I have some very strong opinions as to the definition of "Art".  I will also freely admit that there are probably a lot of "experts" that will not agree with my opinions.  In fact, some may be offended by them.  Be that as it may, I need to get it out in the open here.  The short version follows, but if you have time to kill and are not too easily bored, click here for the long version.
My definition of "Art":
I believe that all true art is an attempt to communicate something.  While the old saying is true that "a picture is worth a thousand words", I believe we have to hold "Art" to a higher standard.  My rule is (and I think I will copyright this) "A True Piece of Art is worth a thousand conversations."  That being said then, I catagorize works as follows:
1)  If an alleged work of art has no message to impart, it simply is not "Art".  It may still have value as a decoration.  It may be very valuable just because it was made by someone famous.  But it is not "Art".
2)  If that work has a message, but the message has little or no importance, then it could be compared to a trite cartoon or a shopping list.  Once again, it may still have value due to its aesthetic qualities or the name behind it.   But it is hardly "True Art". 
3)  If the piece has a meaningful message but is poorly crafted, it might be "Art", but it is not good "Art".  As the saying goes, "Anything worth saying is worth saying well."  If a sculpture falls apart, or the paint on a painting never dries, what good is it?
4)  If the piece has a meaningful message and is well-crafted, now we have "Fine Art".  This being well-crafted involves both the technical aspects of the medium as well as the composition of the piece.  But at this point we have to get pragmatic.  Just because a piece meets the definition of "True Art" does not necessarily mean that it has any value to you.  This will depend on two other factors:
A)  Do you find the piece to have aesthetic value?  By this I am not asking if the work is "pretty".  Some messages are not "pretty".  But if the piece appeals to you, then it has value to you.
B)  How does the message affect you?  The piece may be an absolutely beautiful work of art, but if its message is offensive to you then it has no value to you.
From the foregoing, you can understand why I can not call all of my pieces "Fine Art".  Some are decorations.  Some are studies or experiments.  However, it is my hope that you will find in some of my work the hallmarks of "True Art".  I hope you will find value in them.
And I hope you will buy them.
J.P. Pendergrass