The Relevance of Art.
I have been surprised and truly nonplussed lately about a disconnect people seem to have about art. Recently, I even heard someone say that they didn’t like art. To me that is like saying you don’t like to breathe. Art, design and the evidence of creative thought is everywhere. Unless you live in a hollow tree, ride a horse bareback to work, make your own clothing, eat out of gourds with sticks and never listen to music or watch TV or read novels you are benefiting from art, from someone’s creative impulse, someone’s imagination, someone’s work.
Everything in our modern creature comfort environment has been created, and somewhere along the line in its development many decisions were made about it. At least some of those decisions were made by trained designers, AKA, artists. Think about how many surfaces you touch each day, your clothing, the interior of your house, your pots and pans, your dishes. Consider the interior of your car, your furniture, your computer. Do you play sports? Ever ride a bike? Everything was created.
Now let us reflect on good design. Everyone has had the experience of sitting in a chair that really fits them, or admiring a great looking car. If you contrast that experience with the discomfort of sitting on a cold, hard folding metal chair and remembering the worst car design you ever saw, or owned (a Gremlin?). You can begin to understand, you might have benefited from art, you lucky dog!
Now let’s take this a step further. People who may not understand the expansive reach of art usually think that art is removed from the practical, or it is not necessary. They also might think that art is removed from our everyday lives, that art happens somewhere special, at a special time, and is done by other people. I think of this as the "embellishment argument". This is the erroneous idea that art is something that only people who can afford it use to decorate their walls. It is fluff, something extra.
I suggest that art is everywhere and most of it is not too complicated to appreciate. Sure some people go the Met to see opera and you may go to your corner bar to hear a singer/songwriter but the argument can be made that most entertainment is indeed art. Long before there were video games and TV, people told stories. Stories in any format help us sort out what it is to be here on this earth, to deal with our joys and triumphs as well as our pain and heartaches.
Isn’t this really what all art does? It helps us share our humanity, helps us to puzzle out living on this planet, and maybe makes our lives more beautiful or meaningful in some way? How can anyone not like that?
Pass it on-Art is Good!