Larry I Gusaas - Artist
Philosophy
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Meditations on Creation
Larry I. Gusaas
2005

My aim as a artist is to create art objects that engage the viewer in a meditative and contemplative process which helps them attain an inner harmony and peace. This meditative process can aid in an establishment of a spiritual connection with creation, thereby increasing an understanding of the unity and oneness of humanity and nature.

Modernist art theory has tended to reduce the response to a work of art to just the 'aesthetic' level - an appreciation of the beautiful. Understanding this response has become an academic pursuit, supposedly requiring specialized training, knowledge, and experience in order to fully understand and appreciate a work of art. This specialization is just one part of modernity's project of compartmentalization of knowledge into narrow specialized areas, creating experts who pontificate on their narrow field of study to the unlearned masses - denying the interconnectedness of all areas of learning and of the innate spiritual nature of humanity.

It is time to break free from the extreme materialism of modernity and establish new spiritual links between ourselves and creation. Art can be one part of this process by providing objects for meditation which aid the human soul in it's growth and it's connection to the unity of creation. This is not a one sided proposition, however, as the viewer must be willing to look for and experience this process, rather than just looking at art from the viewpoint of their preconceived concepts of art. If the viewer is willing to become connected with this spiritual reality, they can also begin to realize the unity of all of creation, the need to preserve our environment, and the need to acknowledge and treat all segments of humanity as equal.

Artistic Development

Although my paintings can be viewed as part of modernist abstract formalist painting - a movement that has definitely affected my work - the primary motivation for their creation is a desire to become attuned with the spiritual essence of creation. Part of this process is an attachment to nature. Being part of nature, hiking in it and photographing it has been the primary inspiration in my development as an artist. Twenty-five years of experience photographing nature - a large number of which were before I had any contact with modernist art - are the primary impetus behind my development as a painter.

Even though my paintings are non-representational, there is a strong relation between them and my photography, which has developed into a very abstracted view of nature. When I was about eleven years old, my family visited Yellowstone Park. I was enchanted by the colours, textures, and patterns formed by the various hot springs, ink pots, etc., and took many photographs with my cheap box camera. The pictures were not very good, but the experience and the memories were fantastic. It is this connection with nature that I have built on and developed over the years in my photography. My photography became increasingly abstract as I explored my subject matter to find it's inner beauty rather than portraying a straight representation of it. This experience and background continue to inform my painting and photography processes today.

It is the spiritual essence of creation that I try to make a connection with in my paintings and photographs. Hopefully, the viewer will be able to feel this connection and be inspired to continue on their own spiritual quest.




This web-site copyright   © 2005   Larry I Gusaas

All images on this web site are copyright Larry I Gusaas.
Please respect all copyright laws and do not download or copy anything contained within without prior written consent.

Thank you,
Larry I Gusaas