The Viewer is The Artist

Cyrus-Kabiru_Bright-Manjano_2017_C-type-Print-on-Diasec-Mount_70-x-60-cm_LR.jpgBright Manjano by Cyrus Karibu 

One of my favourite things about going to exhibition openings or walkabouts is having direct access to an artist. A lot of the time I’ve had to consume information about a body of work through diluted channels which can be or are very subjective. Initially this struck me as a bit of a set back because I was hell bent on knowing the “pure meaning” or idea behind the art I was viewing. But after countless chats with various artists, I have come to one conclusion – artists want the viewer to be the artist.

While they may be making some commentary on something grand, important or absolutely useless; they are looking for the viewer’s mind to find its own meaning or just be able to relate to what’s on the wall. In works you see, you could find depth, beauty, conversation, humour or absolutely nothing.  Knowing this makes it easier to engage in various discussions without feeling like you are some type of fraud who doesn’t have an honours degree in art history! (lol I’m projecting). What’s more is that your interpretation, whether based on mind or emotive intellect, is preparing you for becoming an amazing collector! YUM!


Kwanele Kunene


image: SMAC Gallery


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