It is my belief that the formal language of painting should convey the content of the piece. But when friends of mine who have not education in art see a painting, they see the subject. To them the subject is dominant and the formal language is secondary. From my perspective it is the opposite.
The piece above speaks to me about the artist. The bravado of his brush strokes and mastery of tone. The language of the brush is seductive, but the limited content of the subject fails to take the piece further.
In New York there is an overwhelming amount of "content" in the subject of the art, but most artists here show absolutely no concern for the formal language of the work. For me, this work is largly inaccessable. It does not compel me to consider its meaning. So, what I'm getting at is, can a piece stand alone simply on its formal qualities or its conceptual qualities alone?