What an ARROGANT TITLE!
I realize that I am but a mere pixel on the screen of human history and to claim I know what ART is all about sounds rather cheeky … and it may very well be. But I woke up one morning this week earlier than normal and started pondering this thing we call ART.
I find it fascinating that EVERY CULTURE has ART in some form. Music, dance, craft, painting, and other creative expressions are deeply embedded in the human experience. If we reduce all ART to its elementary component we find STORY.
When I look through my viewfinder and compose an image, I am telling a story. When I push pixels around on my computer, I am telling a story. When I write a song or book … wait for it … I am telling a story. When you create you are telling a story.
ART is about STORY.
Now let’s go down another layer. Why story? Once again, EVERY CULTURE HAS STORY as part of their fabric. Stories are passed on from generation to generation. Stories delight, frighten, instruct, bemuse, and stretch our understanding of who we are. If we peel back the outer wrappings of all stories we come to two main questions: Do I have VALUE? And am I LOVED?
Now I will be the first to point out there are stories not concerned with these two questions. Some stories serve the baser components of human existence and leave us further from what we instinctively know to be our place. The difference between GOOD and BAD ART is not necessarily the quality or execution but the INTENT. Anything can be corrupted and misused.
ART is about STORIES of finding LOVE and VALUE.
I will propose one more layer to our artistic digging by asking a question. What is behind all this? Why is ART, STORY, and the pursuit of VALUE and LOVE found in all people throughout history and in every village on earth? Why does all humankind seek the answer to these two questions through painting, singing, dancing, writing, sculpting, drawing, dramatizing, playing instruments, crafting, and other creative outbursts? What is behind these often intangible pursuits?
I don’t expect my conclusion to be accepted by everyone reading this blog. If you continue to read, I thank you for your openness and time invested. If you have any interest in opening up a dialogue with me, please do so in the chat box below this post.
Here is how I understand this. We are CREATED by God, sometimes known as the GREAT CREATOR. He LOVES all of us. We have VALUE because He loves us. The kicker is we live in a world that does not always reveal love or our value in healthy ways. This has been a reality even before the internet, before marketing, and before the wheel. Our DESIRE for Love and Value is explored in ALL ART FORMS. What many call the Muse I understand to be God. God is encouraging the artist to FIND and SHARE TRUE LOVE and VALUE by exploring with their spark of the Divine through the creative process. Art is a Path to Something More.
The Meaning of Art is the Discovery of Love and our Value that comes from God.
I not only realize I am a mere pixel on the screen of human history, but that I appeared to explain the meaning of life in just under 600 words. You may have your own words right now, such as ludicrous, ridiculous, and absurd. These are all good words and may even be appropriate. My goal was not to convince you of anything. But the next time you are in the creative process and those wonderful moments of serendipity pop up, take a moment and consider where they came from.
What do you think?
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I’m Preston McCracken, join me in ENLARGING OUR LIVES.