Empathicism: “A Style Is Born”

Yoonsil - String of Beads

Yoonsil – String of Beads

Once, someone asked me an interesting question regarding “Empathicism.”  The question was in regards to me creating, and developing the style.

What was asked was, “how is it you can call it a style, and who made it official?”  My answer was simple.  It is a style simply because it is a way in which I have come to understand how to successfully translate empathy through a visual medium.

As far as answering who makes a style official, that is simple also.  The answer begins and ends with its creator and conceptualist; just as it did for Picasso & Braque with Cubism, Seurat for Pointillism, or Matisse for Fauvism, and so on. If each founding father of any style, movement, invention, or discovery waited on others to make their claim official, would that make it more genuine?… more legitimate?  Not necessarily.  More than likely, in the final outcome of their concept being recognized and accredited by aficionados, experts, etc., their involvement might be considered quite pale, or perhaps even having no significance to contributing to the new concept or style at all.

I truly believe that the validity or official standings of any style is determined by its conceptual soundness, consistent development and display of each aspect of which is known to be attributed to the style itself.  Any other essential determining factor (or factors) contributing to the existence and evolution of a style becomes more apparent through a body of work created by the artist, or artists who understand the style, its aim, and expand upon it with their own means of expression of what they wish to exemplify.  Through Empathicism, there is a broad sense of freedom in which the artist can express, while staying true to the style.

In example:

Empathicism is an emotional style more so than a style developed by brush technique.

Feeling can only first be recognized by the emotional response to a person, place, thing, or ideal.  It is true that emotion can be expressed in most any style, yet Empathicism focuses on the conveyance of empathy as a tonal aspect of distinguishing and refining the style.

This equation itself sets Empathicism apart from most styles that are merely recognized by paint application to surface, and in form technique within the composition and/or picture plane.

There are various ways that Empathicism can be achieved and determined while still definitively representing the style.  As emotions are expansive in their range of variables, so shall Empathicism be with how it is visually recognized and defined.

Components of Empathicism

  1. Subject – establishes the mood that is being set within the composition in general
  2. Paint application – how the paint is applied to the surface, and the texture that is created
  3. Color – light, dark, blended, muted, washed, and opaque all provide tonal properties that contribute to the style
  4. Use of composition – how much, or how little space is occupied within the picture plane signifies the absence, presence, intensity, or faintness of the subject
  5. Title – serves as the final indicator or guide to cue the viewer to not only understand what the artist is attempting to convey, but to subliminally translate what has emotionally been triggered in the subconscious of the viewer.