Why Art Is More Important Now Than Ever: In spite of what you may have been led to believe, it’s not all about social justice. Art is essential, it has an intrinsic value. We all see art and in all of its various forms. Perhaps the most interesting thing about art is its ability to speak without actually using audible words. Our minds and our interpretations of what we see before us speak to us based on our life’s experiences and impressions.
I have a blank piece of plain, and very inexpensive brownish white paper before me. Next to that paper is a small box of crayons. I’m going to make a drawing of a house, a man, a woman and perhaps a couple of children. Now I’m not going to create a lot of detail. The drawings of the people will most likely look more like stick figures with heads and hair. Maybe the woman will have shoulder length blonde hair. The kids may be holding hands. Oh and I forgot to mention I will draw a big round orange circle for the sun above the house with some clouds. There you have the drawing. If I take that drawing and tape it to the refrigerator door for everyone to see, and you happen to see that drawing on the refrigerator… What do you think will happen in your mind?
Consider this; depending upon your life’s history and age. You are going to create a story about that piece of art hanging on the refrigerator. I do not need to tell you what that story will be, some will be very similar to others, and some will be a completely unique interpretation. But for sure there will be a story.
You’re standing in front of a painting by Paul Cezanne entitled, The Large Bathers. You will have to Google it to see the painting unless you’re fortunate enough to see it in person. Now there’s a story, lots to explore in this painting. It will be up to your imagination to make up the story that best suits your thinking at the time. If you revisit the painting over the course of your life you will have multiple stories, each uniquely thought out. Some of those stories you have imagined will even surprise you, and how your thoughts and ideas have changed over time.
Art has been used to make political statements for centuries. Especially when people could not read. In fact long before writing and the printing press, art was used to induct people into a philosophy or a religious teaching. You are actually told the story in the work of art. Very little was left to your imagination.
In more modern times you get paintings like Guernica from Picasso. He was so passionate about his feelings so much so that he needed to express his outrage over something that happened in a city in northern Spain. If you want to know what that was all about Google it.
Speaking of Spain, the artist Goya created a painting called The Third of May. It’s an image that is definitely not easy to forget. It makes a very strong political statement.
Moving past political art. Let’s go with a very famous abstract painting by Jackson Pollock. Perhaps one of his most iconic works, it’s the painting, Lavender Mist. You can get quickly lost in an abstract painting. You can write hundreds of stories and they almost always will begin with; “it reminds me of.”
To me art should be all about pure enjoyment, and the opportunity to create stories about what you see and feel. Political art is always agenda driven, clearly with the purpose of persuading you to think a certain way, even if it’s contrary to what you truly believe. Political art has a way of pressuring people through guilt.
Enjoy beautiful art that makes you feel happy and peaceful inside. It’s an extension of creative expressions that gives you the viewer, the opportunity to interpret however you wish, and best of all you write the story that suits you the most.
“The painting tried to tell me how to think,
so I walked away and never looked back.”
Rod Jones artist