What Is Art?

Imagine that you are about to be born into this world and you’re just a soul up in heaven, God looks at you and says, “I now condemn you to 85 years of solitary confinement”.  Your free spirit, that can now intermingle freely with others,  will  be locked inside this small body for your entire life.  Like prisoners that are never let out of their cells wondering if the next cell is layed out the same as yours.  You would think that the builders would have built each one exactly the same but you can never be sure because you can’t see for yourself.  What is the view like in each of the other cells window to the outside world.  Just as those prisoners would devise ways to tap on the walls in code to talk to the next cell, we all find ways to experience the “view from the other cell”.  We go through our lives trying to ignore this isolation while at the same time we jump at any chance to see into the next cell.  We are all voyeurs.   Because we are separate we can never know if our perceptions are the same as everyone elses.  Do I see red like you do.  If I could become you would I see that what you see as blue is what I saw as red.  As a child you would have been told that the red sky you see above is called blue and accept it.  Would your apple taste like mine.  We have no idea.  And so we long to know.  When the painter paints they give you a limited peek into their cell.  And we all have a need to look.  “Communication” is the word that is used when talking about the arts but, I think it’s more like “sharing”.  If I connect with you with my painting, I get a peek into your cell too.  Art is NOT about being on the cutting edge or doing something in a totally new way, art has never changed, it is simply the act of trying to escape our confinement.  An attempt to be as one again.


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