Monday, July 13, 2015

Describing unique experiences

Last update: Monday 7/13/15
DLL Editor's note -- The topic of the following note is outside the usual range of this blog. I'm publishing it now because it will be referenced in a future note that will be within range ... :-)

From time to time when I go to the Starbucks at the Barnes & Nobel in Rockville, MD, I see a young Vietnamese artist seated at the table in the center of the room doing his thing. I can't describe it. And I get a kick out of watching other people stop dead in their tracks, staring, as their minds boggle, searching for words to describe what they are seeing, hypnotized as he extends whatever he already has on the sketchpad using ball point pens in real time. 

When they speak to him, they invariably come up with descriptions; but it's clear that most don't believe their words really match what they are seeing. I asked him, as everyone does, where he learned this style. He shrugged, saying that he has been drawing since he was three and that his style has been evolving since then. His business card describes him as a "self-taught ballpoint pen & ink artist". 

A long time ago, B.F. Skinner noted that words are audible references to experiences that are shared by others in the verbal community. So when we encounter something that few have ever seen before, there are no words because there is no shared experience ... yet. But I'm sure that it's only a question of how long it will take for this young artist to become famous; then art critiques will scramble to develop the terms that we will all use to tell each other why we think his art is unique ... :-)

Here's the link to his Website where you can find photos of his sketches:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you!!! Your comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated ... :-)