Friday, September 17, 2010

True Art

I volunteered recently to provide art for a book that is being published. Today, I received an email about this venture which said that, because there were so many volunteers, the publisher would do a random drawing to determine who will be included. This is so very wrong on so many levels. Poor art. She sits alone at the end of the dark bar quietly sipping her chardonnay just praying to meet someone, praying that bands of heavenly angels will descend from on high singing choirs of Some Enchanted Evening and she will be chosen as the true love to hang on that wall. But no. That is not to be. Instead, she finds herself an unwilling contestant as an ersatz Bachelorette - the Artistette! Good God, could anything be more humiliating?

I've complained bitterly on several occasions with what I consider to be HGTV's slapdash treatment of art as a second thought, color on a wall, something to draw your eye in that direction. Art is not a decoration, people. It's not a theme. Art is that face across a crowded room that drops your jaw and reels you in. Art is alive. She's the wayward child of some wayward child who would rather create beauty than earn a good living. She is the cherished prize of a vivid imagination that will not be stilled by the grind of the every day or thwarted by the lack of cash.

Art is also incredibly egotistical. She doesn't want to be second best. She doesn't want to hang on your wall unless you really intend to caress her with your eyes and let her play with your heart and soul.

There are artists in this world who every day put their soul on paper using water color, acrylic, oil, wood, concrete, spray paint - anything and everything they can find. In German prison camps, artists used burned sticks to draw on scraps of cloth and paper because the simple fact is that if you are a painter, you must paint. A painter doesn't one decide "Hmmm! I think I'll try this." An artist is compelled, not to try, but to do. Some larger universal force commands it be done.

All art asks in return is to be engaged. "Look at me, see me, FEEL me" and yes, the ultimate, "TAKE ME HOME AND NEVER, EVER PART WITH ME!"