Welcome to the first column of what will become a regular feature here in the Arts section of GoChengdu.
It is fitting that we begin our series with a focus on "mosaic art", which happens to be one of the most popular styles among buyers and collectors of the writer's own works. So what is it about a mosaic that captures the attention of so many admirers of art?
Mosaics are all around us, all the time. For thousands of years, basic structures (both natural and man-made) feature mosaic patterns. From pebbles on a beach, to the familiar cracking of parched earth, historical and modern building facades, sidewalks, garden paths and fencing; mosaics permeate the scenery of our every day lives. Even the games we play, from checkers, to chess and that classic of all classics; yes, Tetris!
Human nature often plays a role in the things we begin to take comfort in. A child loves its mother's voice. It's that feeling of comfort we all know and that natural instinct we developed, safe in the womb. A mosaic work of art may be appealing to so many for similar humanistic traits and feelings. It's a connection to the every day. It's structure grounds you to the safety of the familiar, but also let's you play with it.
As a child, perhaps you sat in the bathtub and played mind games with the mosaic tile back-splash or tub surround in your family's bathroom. Could you find a path through the maze? How many colored tiles could you avoid in as few moves as possible across the wall? If you started on a diagonal, how many times could you go back and forth without getting stuck in a corner? Could you count them all or would something distract you so you lost track and had to start over? Maybe your eyes would glaze or a noise would throw you off the count!
These are all parts of the "learned behavior" and "human nature" aspects of the appreciation of a mosaic. Perhaps we are predisposed to like them? Conversely, maybe it drove you so crazy, you despise them, yet while remaining still, slightly fascinated.
Mosaic art has thousands of years of history. Each week here in our column, we give some practical, real-world commentary about art, rather than paraphrasing historical or contemporary information on the web. We leave the research to you, but we'll give you some search terms related to the column topic, for you to check out on your own.
1. The Mihrab at the Great Mosque of Cordoba
2. The Great Pavement (Cosmati Pavement; Westminster Abbey)
3. Smalti (glass tesserae)
Also, each week, the writer will feature one of his own works, or provide feedback and commentary on any submitted works by other artists, whether new, emerging or otherwise. Such feedback will be practical and constructive and based on the writer's real-world experience of selling artwork in today's marketplace. As of publication, that would be 130 original works of art so far in 2019 alone.
If you are an aspiring artist, art student, emerging artist, or fellow professional artist and you wish to have your work reviewed for some constructive feedback, please send a photo or representation of your work to the writer's WeChat (see QR Code) and perhaps your work will be selected for a published review. Please note, not all submissions will be able to be published, however, the writer will endeavor to answer all requests by private message.
This week's painting is the writer's "Mosaic Crypto Currency", featured at both Art Canton 2017 and at the Golden Panda International Design Expo 2017, where the writer won his first of three Golden Panda Design Excellence Awards.
Title: Mosaic Crypto Currency
Composition: Oil and metallic acrylics on 230 individual tiles made of multiple layers of ink wash paper, hand-painted, hand-selected, hand-cut, hand-trimmed, hand-laid and affixed to hardboard.
The artist's "Mosaic V" Crypto Currency Design featured at the Golden Panda International Design Week pavilion at Century City Chengdu in 2017. The artwork is a physical representation of block chain as a new form of trade-able, track-able and interchangeable currency and asset store, with a unique digital imaging interface that identifies the entire piece, as well as each individual block. Created in Chengdu, the historical home of paper money, known as "Jiaozi", this piece represents a futuristic form of paper money utilizing block chain technology, but backed by a physical tangible asset that can be enjoyed as any other work of art hanging on the wall of the investor/collector.
Matt Vegh is one of China's most widely sold contemporary artists. He is also the curator of the M Gallery International, located in Chengdu. The M Gallery International returns to simpler times with a focus only on "Beautiful Art".