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Artist Crush: Ela Blom!

May 5th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Ela Blom is an artist I’ve been meaning to feature on Art Hound for a while. Her work, which is mostly abstract, really grabs you. It’s bold, graphic, feminine and subtly subversive. Plus I love the use of pinks and purples! Her work is a fresh interpretation of cartoon and graffiti culture. It’s a disorienting mix of hard and soft edges and a more aesthetic take on an anti-aesthetic counter-culture movement.

Ela’s work makes me think about why abstract work is often¬†under-appreciated. I think because the “meaning” is less obvious, people sometimes have an uneasy reaction to it. Those with art history backgrounds, myself included, learn to view abstract art within the greater context of the history of art. In my opinion this is both good and bad.

Who cares about context? Well, it’s important to know that the first abstract painters sent a jaw-dropping message with their art: “Even without a subject, without depicting victorious men, lofty vistas or bowls of fruit,¬†this too is art.” Today we take it for granted that something is art so long as someone says so. That kind of freedom, which at times veers into the ridiculous, has only developed in the last 50 years.

But abstract art is extremely powerful because of it’s lack of subject. Standing in front of a large abstract painting is about the closest thing to experiencing art without context – just taking in the visual expression. Art’s currency is how it makes you feel. Experiencing abstract art means taking a moment to shut down our brains and let our eyes do the work for us.