I was lucky enough, this holiday season to rent a house in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Aside from being really cold, it was an absolutely beautiful place to spend a week. One of the things that made it so interesting was the huge selection of art galleries. I had heard of the art scene here, but had always expected to see lots of Indian inspired pieces, and bad "coyote art". Nothing could be further from the truth! There was a terrific selection of work, both traditional and modern, so it really was a great place to check out a lot of things in a short period of time.
I ended up buying the above piece by an artist Aristides Ruiz from the Klaudia Marr Gallery. It is part of a series he did of portraits done in ball point pen. I think it's stunning and its a great addition to the pieces I already have at home. But the piece made me think more broadly about what makes good art, and the art viewing experience. For me, I want pieces that make me look at the world in a different way. The fact that this is done in such a modest medium (ball point pen), but is so finely executed, and the subject so humble, it is really inspiring.
So I hope that when you are looking for art, look for things that leave you thinking of the world in a different sort of way, that is successful art, well at least in my mind.