About my work...

“I don’t get it.” People look at abstract paintings as if they are trying to solve a puzzle or more often with a confused look wondering why anyone would spend money on something they think their five-year-old nephew does on a daily basis, for free.

These same people have looked at my work and have said to me “it’s just a map!” or “it’s a dog” or whatever. Sometimes they look at me like I’m supposed to reward them and say “Oh you got it! You figured me out!”

“So what is it about? What are you trying to say?” I maintain that my goals are much more selfish. It is for me to know. I like to think that abstract painting is one of the last true refuge’s of “the original.” No one has anything like my work. It’s mine. I paint about what I want. It has nothing to do with you.

Abstract work is not easily quantifiable. From an academic standpoint, it can be about color, form and composition and other elements or directives of academic study. In the art industry where people are actually buying and selling art, it may just be about a client's individual subjectivity, emotion, or personality.

Abstraction affects us more than we realize. Hang an abstract painting, put it on your wall, and live with it. Some of my favorite painters are reactive, inspiring, and thought-provoking and yet people think they “just make marks”. Yet I'd bet that if the same people put a Rothko or de Kooning piece in their house they would think to themselves on a daily basis "I love that piece."

Do you the client, the gallery, the audience all care about the work or the story? Is it important that I studied at university X and was trained by professor famous? Is that what makes it worth something to you? Undoubtedly for many people, the answers are “YES!” Sigh. Frowny-face.

I strive to be original. As a painter, my work should say “that’s a Schmidt." That's it.


         . #thejschmidt