Yesterday, while driving to the bank, a very bright, half orangy-yellow, half black car/truck passed me going the other way. I immediately thought, "wow, is that an ugly combination." But then I had a conversation with my inner judge, who often gets full rein of my brain for long stretches, without any protest from the real me.
So I said to her, "who appointed YOU taste-master? I'm sure the automotive industry wouldn't be producing a vehicle that nobody would like, so obviously there are lots of people who find that combination of car and truck, black and yellow, appealing enough to pay a lot of money for it." This thought led me to ponder just how many of those car/trucks in that color combination had been produced, and whether a lot of them are languishing on car lots or if the demand exceeded the production.
From there I drifted into a comparison of the automotive industry and the art world. Having worked in galleries for over 15 years, I've listened to lots of opinions from art buyers. I've witnessed how most people respond to the familiar subjects they can identify and feel comfortable with. But there are viewers who slow down and observe the more unusual pieces of art, the viewers that challenge themselves to think "why am I responding to this painting or sculpture?" I admire those "out of the box" thinkers, because my artwork doesn't have immediate subject recognition. My paintings abstract ideas and conveys metaphorical concepts, and I like knowing that there are some people who are drawn to them.
I see lots and lots of white and silver and black cars, and lots and lots of white and black and silver trucks. People are comfortable with familiar choices. But maybe the ones who want something that stands out in the crowd, are just like the gallery goers I admire who are willing to look at something "different." My quick vote against that odd vehicle and subsequent conversation with myself has pointed out that I can be guilty of boxed in thinking, just like anyone else. I may never want to own a yellow car, but I have a new appreciation for those people who do.