Truly compelling art touches our souls, and we know this because it makes us feel briefly immortal. We can feel this chain of consciousness; a sort of spirit in all of us that makes us more than mere animal. Care, sacrifice, hope, and purity, or jealousy, rage, and hurt; they all swirl within us. Art touches those human essences and says “I do, too.” But it doesn’t merely tell you-it shows you, and it shows you through you, because everyone feels it through the lens of their own experiences. Good art also makes an artist out of all of us. For once the partaker knows how she feels, she is able to tell her own story that much more articulately. The benefits are contagious. Pass it on.
We need art now more than ever. We are a distracted bunch these days-too distracted to know who we are or to care why we are. Everything seems to be about getting to the answers now. A question is input in a blank box at our fingertips. Instant. On Demand. All Access…and before we have pondered the question ourselves, we have a plethora of choices. And yet, asking questions has never been solely about obtaining an answer, if a definitive answer could even be settled upon.
My fear is that the future will be so destination oriented that we may cease to ramble, ponder, travel, consider, wonder, second guess, or stumble upon.
But as long as art exists (and I believe it always will, even if it ceases to make the artists a living, and we can argue it already has), there will be reasons and ways to stop and ask “who am I?” and “why am I?” because invariably someone will be saying with their art, “I am…this paint splatter!…or this chord! or that melody!” and you will either resonate with this and say, “hey, I was that color yesterday!” or you may say “my mother is that melody!” I really believe that because of this, art makes us more than just animals getting from a starting point to a destination (whether that be travel, or finding food, or whatever other biological need). And yes, I think we express our spirituality through art as well because of course that is another main discrimination between humans and other animals. But the fact that we have these indescribables…these indiscretes…and that we can take pigment and show it to another or create a harmony and strike a certain chord and share these otherwise ineffable truths about what it means to be human…I think that makes art of immeasurable importance. Don’t you?