What's In A Name #5 / by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

What's different and alike?

It was definitely time for a change of graphic, don't you think? 

The two mosaics above were made around the same time, probably about 1997-1998. The one on the left is what happens when someone who has neither natural talent nor artistic training attempts a still life, as well as what happens when one is new to mosaic. Artistically, there are problems with the design, and mosaically there are problems with the execution. Still, this piece hangs in my kitchen today and makes me feel good. 

Unwittingly, I was attempting to make art with the mosaic on the left, and I would argue today that it is, indeed, art. It's not fine art, by any measure, but it is art. I was trying to express the warmth of such a scene, as it means to me: the color and lusciousness of such beautiful and delicious vegetables—is there much in the world more beautiful than a large, shiny, purple eggplant? It's a point of view.

The mosaic on the left is decorative, and not terribly fine. If I had painted the tiles myself, the mosaic might squeak by as art, but just barely, in my opinion. It's not a bad mosaic, in the sense that it was soundly made and lives today, but clearly it is not fine art, though art in the decorative sense.

In my early years, I had a website. In fact, I was one of the few mosaic artists to have a website in those days, owing purely to the fact that one of my kids was quite a tech geek. I put everything I made on the site and did not distinguish between fine art and decorative art. This reflected the fact that I did not see a distinction—it was all mosaic, and what else to call it but mosaic art? As best I can remember, my categories were wall panels, vases, tables, etc. 

As time went on and my experience and base of knowledge grew, my websites reflected this evolution of understanding. My categories began to reflect wall art vs decorative art. Then fine art vs decorative art. Then I took decorative art off of my main navigation and only had a link to it on my About page. Then I removed it from my About page entirely. Now, I am developing a completely separate website, with a different name, to serve as a storefront for my decorative art. The name Jacqueline Iskander is for my fine art work only. 

This has been a process for me—an evolution of understanding, to repeat. Sometimes, it just needs to work this way. Some people, for various reasons, have a more immediate understanding of this. Maybe they have been at it longer; maybe they were always artists; maybe they had formal training or early environmental influences. Lots of reasons, I imagine.

And then there are those that just don't give a damn about any of this. Who cares what you call it? If you are one of those people, you should have stopped reading these posts a while back. 

I'll have one more post on this coming up...