Wanderings of an artist in the trenches.

Musings on Art


What is the true purpose of art? Or is the question itself at cross-purposes with the artist as opposed to the art? Can art serve multiple purposes, even when originating from one hand? Can there be, or should there be, only one answer to this question?

I think the ultimate purpose of art is multi-faceted. It serves to represent a tangible reflection for those who would otherwise stumble blindly through their lives without stopping to smell the roses. It comforts many by reminding them that there is beauty, hope and rebirth in this world, as well as pain, ugliness and death. It offers differing viewpoints of the world, but doesn’t demand that one see only one perspective. The viewer or beholder can take or leave the message as they see fit.

The more I read about the processes by which our minds engage the world through our various senses, the more I understand that everything is a form of illusion or hallucination. When our minds are working well, we share a very similar hallucination, one in which we are usually in agreement on. But it is a slender thread that connects us all. Artists are willing to see beyond the thread, past it and into it and around it and try to make sense of the things we see, hear, etc.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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One response

  1. things sure would be easier if there was an answer to this question!

    if there was an answer, at least everyone would know what to aim for. it seems to me that the subjective nature of the whole thing means any response can be valid. representation, abstraction, conceptual, illustrative, when you get down to it, all of these are just words. they really don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, and no label helps when “what is the true purpose of art” comes knocking.

    I suppose what matters is if what you create resonates with others or not. if you like something, you like it. you don’t need to explain “why,” you just do. I guess this ties into the initial question. no one ever picks up a crayon at five and asks “why am I drawing?” or “what is the significance of this?” they just draw!

    like anything else, I think art becomes much more complicated than it needs to be when we stop making and doing and start thinking.

    then again, what do I know? just my two cents.

    thanks for the post, George!

    March 6, 2011 at 1:57 PM

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