What is Art?
Such a loaded question. I was fortunate to be included in the illusive and often misunderstood world of Artists in their own space. I attended an art exhibition and art exchange. It was impressive the way Art was defined in a romantic notion, with pending Happy Endings and beautiful words that rhyme and all that jazz.
It got me thinking. What is Art to me?
To me, Art is a responsibility.
Generations down the line when they look back to us, what will they say of the artists and Art of today? Maybe I should start by saying Art to me is broader than just oil paints, odd shapes and all that some might imagine. It’s a culture. It’s a presentation of creativity. Its harnessed creativity, in every form, shape and function.
Back to my thought. When generations apart from us look back (or look up even), what will they think of us? It is Art’s responsibility to capture that. Art is each generations’ time capsule. It shows the world the people we were, and communicates more than we realize about the mindsets of the people in that generation. Allow me to elaborate. When we look at the culture, the fashion, the architecture of days gone by we can see how industrious the people where. From beautifully hand crafted beads, to stunning mud hut décors, to the mouthwatering food; we find a people with pride in who they are. The artist presentation of the people’s lives, is ART to me.
Beautiful and true. What is also true and sad is the fact that when the people entrusted with the responsibility to capture the time we live in through creativity fail to do so, we lose a little of who we are. Who we are is lost to us, and generations before and after us. Look around you. Does what you see reflect who you are in the times you live in, or is it just a reflection of the times? What is the difference? If when you look around you see architecture, fashion trends, eat food and dance to the music that says nothing about who you as a people are, then the war is already lost.
Houses built in materials and designs that would make the ancient Asians happy, yet make the givers of blessings to our land sad, reflecting nothing of the wealth of resources in our won states, is a loss of who we are. For a woman whose life is spent fighting oppression and inequality to thrive in music that perpetuates the very same thing she fights for is a loss. To cover your gold kissed skin, with fabrics that hide that jewel, and wash off its glare with cosmetics is a loss. I could go on. Look, this is not an African/Black pride piece. It really isn’t. I am against trying to break down the rules of Black/White to only imprison ourselves in a whole new box, filled with slogans about black pride, being woke and all that. Am not for that.
All am saying is, as an artist, a creative, you have a responsibility to creatively capture the times and lives of the people, present and preserve them for the future. This inspires people and life to do better by themselves. That way when they look back at us, long after we are gone, they will see the desire and passion in our works that reflects the times and the people we are.
But hey, if I’m talking smack, then by all means continue to talk about Your Art in the beautiful romantic way you know to. After all, Art means different things to different people.