A Brush With Art
Art is often brushed off, with exclamations of: “Art has no meaningful purpose”, and, “There exists no reason for it”, which is correct it seems, yet not in the same manner it is spoken.
When I was a young man about 22 or 23, I determined that my best resources were of a creative nature and it was possible they could be traded as I went through life (in face of this groundswell of pessimism), and that I was to make art my career. So for me then, art became a way of life, a livelihood — but then, I too was having only a brush with art.
I had at the time an insight that my best work would not emerge until late in my life, with the richness of maturity. I was happy to work commercially for years, providing for my family but as I suspected, a larger view of life eventually altered my perceptions.
Now I find art in every culture and justified by reason of its sheer and persistent existence. Said to be self-existent, it needs no purpose, nor does it require reason. More precisely — it is beyond reason.
To purpose art for a reason then, is to create something that might resemble art, but sadly, is not. Weak, flighty, trendy and topical, as is Symbolism, these works mostly fall short of the mark of genuine. They appeal to the intellect but lack power.
It can be said that art is set apart from other endeavors as it is begun and completed with no specific objective in mind — no set goal — and is simply begun and when finished, it is then defined by what it has become.
How this pertains to everyday artfulness, is, as in the creation of art, if in our lives we stop setting and attaining goals, we can effectively unseat our selfish egos and replace our established priorities with sanity — a coming to our senses about what seems to be material security but in reality is delusion.
As an illustration: in keeping any monarch in power, tribute (taxes) is collected to support his luxury. No taxes, no monarch. Much like tribute and monarchs, the attainment of set goals supports our egos, keeping them on their seats of power, much like the monarch, but a simple practice of abandoning expectations can open one further to experience a deeper life of creativity.
Art then too, has no real reason to exist, nor does it have a reference. No goal. Being groundless, it becomes to our senses meaningless — yet it has a power of its own that can be measurably impervious to an assault by the intellect — which is, after all, reason — and endure the test of time. We can say in its timelessness it is as powerful as the day it is created, even if that is ages ago.
In a way, I feel similarly about my role as an artist today, that I am having a mere brush with art, but now for a different reason. When I examine the immensity of art’s role in history and culture, I am utterly humbled as I barely scratch the surface.
Now, I find my brush back in the paint .. and for no good reason.