A defense of Art

Now that’s a big title, but many times the bigger the idea, the simpler it is.  This is not a manifesto, just a simple idea.  No doubt in the coming days the US will be asking questions about art funding and debating the necessity of art in a society.  What use is it?  Is it really that important?  Now I am talking capital A Art, like the difference between man and Man, or life and Life.  The topic is not what art is to the individual, but what and why-fore Art.

hands
Hands

I believe in the necessity of “the examined life”, of asking and dreaming, of exploring the paths our curiosity uncovers.  Necessary like air, water, food and shelter?  No.  But its in the mix with companionship, feeling loved, having a purpose.  The stories we tell ourselves have a way of becoming self-fulfilling.  The mistakes we do not question, we repeat.  You end up where your toes are pointing, where your eyes are looking.

Art is this happening at a group level.  Our stories and images, our things (buildings, tools, toys), the flavor and mood of our surroundings are a result of AND the creator of our mythology of ourselves as a nation, a family, a species.  Art is us questioning ourselves, laughing at ourselves, praising, soothing and healing ourselves.  It is us thinking and feeling out loud.  Art is humanity being self aware, its us imagining, debating, and deciding on our narrative.  That feels like a necessity to me.

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