I really really liked what you said armando! As it happens we came to speak about language and the 'primitive' (I hate that word..) symbolism. This is why I used the word translate art into the material world rather than create. Art is already there, emotion is already there. It is the artist, with his own sensibilities (the same way you fall in love with this person rather than this one, the inexplicable magic) who translates a landscape, a person, an object. So you would say the job of the artist is to "uncover to better convey" the spirit of something or someone? Unfortunately I didn't want to write a ton for the first post so I kinda made two distinct sides, forgetting a lot of the nuances we had and a lot of points he said. However, because we couldn't discuss more, I wanted to continue the train of thought and see if maybe it could bring new perspectives to the way I look at art or how others look at art.
If I could indulge, armando, would you say then that the translated art should be beautiful to the artist and/or to the audience in it's particular time and context? Or should it just be as it is felt? Do you think the true sense of beauty is in fact that exactly: the spirit? If the artist unearths it, then his art is naturally beautiful?
to quote lao tsu "the path that can be followed is not the true path, the name that can be named is not the true name"
basically meaning "screw what ever anyone else says do your own thing"
art I feel is one of those things that is unique to the individual. we all have diffrent experiences, diffrent views on the world shaped by a life time be it a year or a hundred years, we are all unique (even if a lot of us don't embrace that uniqueness) show ten people the same image, and ask them all individually about it they will all express diffrent ideas, and diffrent thoughts, same with any form or art, that's why there are so many kinds of music, film and painting because not everyone likes the same thing.
me I draw because I like to draw, there's rarely any emotion behind it or even any thought beyond "that looks like an interesting subject I think I'll try that" a lot of the time I let whoever views it decide what they think about it.
there's an old trope called "death of the author" which states that anyone's interpretation of a work is as valid as the next person even if they disagree and the next person happens to be the author of the work. because we all see the world in a diffrent way so where one person may draw an emotional experience from a peice of art that wasn't the intent of the artist, another may just enjoy the art for the beauty of it, or maybe for the technique used, or even because they like the idea that the peice represents in their eyes
so to me, when you ask if art should convay an emotion or an idea I say both and neither, it convays what it convays to who ever happens to view it at the time. be it either, both, or neither.
My artwork can convey and contain both emotions and ideas though not always together in the same piece of work.
Primarily, my artwork is another medium for stories. If what I'm working on does not have a story, or if the character I'm drawing doesn't have a personality, it doesn't work for me. Also, I'm too lazy to actually write these stories so I draw them instead... how this works, I have no idea since both require the same amount of time and effort. :P
I think conveying both ideas and emotions are important. I tend to think of it more as manipulation. Can I, with my artwork, manipulate the audience into feeling a certain way or just force them to think about something? If so, then I have succeeded (in some way or form). I think experimental writing and poetry are also after the same thing, really.
Could poetry perhaps be likened to abstract art then?- Sometimes it doesn't make sense, but some people can still enjoy it. The poetry that makes sense is more like expressionist art within a realist framework.
I'm probably going off my bonkers. Thanks to the OP however for an interesting topic of thought/discussion.
I'd like to think that those who claim that their art is based solely on an idea, or idea indentations, have an emotional attachment to it. So, at the core, they feel an emotion and then act upon it.
And to paint or do whatever, for the purpose of channeling pure emotion, is already an act of attaching an idea, a concept to your practice.
So before trying to enforce ones own semantic viewpoints as general guidelines that applies to "everyone," through some sort of philosophy or whatever, one might as well just do whatever one likes to do. In the end, it's about enjoying the process.