Writings Bay

Art is Life: Retrieving the Artistic Impetus  

"Painting makes absent men present and the dead seem alive," wrote Leon Battist Albert, the fifteenth-century Italian humanist. "I paint to preserve the likeness of men after their death," wrote Albrecht Duer in sixteenth-century Germany. As long as we, mortals breathe, we will create. Unrecognized artists are constantly at work creating their specific themes in their homes, yards, work places and preferred colorful activities to alert the world of their arrival and temporary abode on earth. The Parthenon was built to house a colossal sculpture of the patron goddess Athena. We are housed to imbue the divine. Through countless unmistakable artistic works, man wants to create/express his individual likeness of the ineffable sublime. ART represents through him, that immortal part which declares, "I am Divine; that which is Divine lives in and through me. I make visible the ever flowing effervescent light which can not be destroyed, subdued or silenced." Like gold we shine unremittingly as the sun. 

In various cultures and civilizations, gold was commonly used in various artifacts. Gold can not be destroyed. By melting it, the impurities seep into the container leaving only the purest essence. Could the artist through the artistic process possibly display in/through his creations an unmistakable forgoing, melting and molding of the impurities found within himself, leaving only the brightest virtues and incalculable beauty to behold? Yet, is beauty only that which is pleasing to the eye? Can not beauty equally present, withstand and incorporate the ugly, morbid, loathed and despised? Always in the imbedded impetus of ART rides the wave of greed/gluttony no matter how cleverly disguised. Be that as it may, the primary purpose of any Artistic expression is to elevate mankind, in spite of himself or his human frailties. Even the looters who have stolen precious priceless ART have been transformed in the very act of the thievery. ART moves and as with god/goddess/goddit will not be possessed. The final resting place of many invaluable pieces has yet to be established. Many undisclosed factors filter into ART'S contribution to mankind. ART 'takes on' the temperature and environment of where it is produced and transported. The work itself becomes a polyglot of every aspect in culture that came before it. Master works are the children of thousand of years of diverse heritage. It does not just arise out of itself but has been wooed for hundreds of thousands of years in the genes of the person bringing it to life. ART represents a basis for us to react with a grand exhibition of emotions. From fear to outrage, pleasure to amusement we are either attracted or repelled by what we see. We see can never fully envision or appreciate the extent of effort and energy that went into producing the ART. We are allowed to observe but the mere shell of the representation of something far more involved than first meets the eye. That which one views is but a hint of that 'untouchable quality' which exists in totality. 

What is it that we are actually observing? What is it about a certain work of ART that inspires, compels, repels or disturbs us? We are not only looking at the work, but behind the work into the god reflected in ourselves. We see what we are. We can do nothing else. Our eyes are colored and conditioned by the complications and contaminations of our own unique experiences, events, and relationships. ART is the conductor that either connects or disconnects, causing us to move beyond where we presently reside or to continue to whine, complain, criticize and bemoan our current place. It matters not whether we like or dislike what we are observing. If we truly look further, deeper, wider and longer we will find what we are looking for: a part of ourselves and the divinity that lies buried within waiting for expression. 

Mortals continually seek the answers to the most perplexing universal questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? These underlying questions refer to time both past, present and future, as well as, the nature of the human condition itself. By delving into the most ancient of periods, combined with the present day occurrences, (of the chaotic/barbaric of times) are we better able to appreciate, relate and absorb the mysterious universe as it moves through us and into our ART. We are forced to ponder the question: does culture influence the ART or is ART influenced by the culture? Prehistoric ART is heavy laden with overly inscribed overt symbolism reflecting their similar interests in discovering the answers to these on-going nebulous questions. The Venus of Willendorf may adequately portray man's attempt to satisfy the vital requirement in himself to subdue the fears associated with what may possibly happen to him after he died. She screams as an extraneous deity needed by man to validate his unstoppable urge to worship something greater that existed inside himself. Without a doubt, the greatest aspiration in man is to seize and exemplify the inner spiritual aspect of his nature. He intends, through ART, to reveal the Master of Divine Essence so inexplicably hidden. The creations of Artists are merely the outward manifestation of an inner realization. From Cavemen to the most technological advances in mankind, the sole purpose is to see God face to face in some manner. By studying, contemplating and meditating upon the various ART works made available and those created by oneself, an option is made accessible to expand man's universe. One is able to receive through a hologramic resonance, a personal revelation that will cause him to envision an experience more than what it appears to be on the surface.

The hidden part of any work of ART is the part that connects us to us. As we study and meditate upon the various ART works, we must start with its design, noting that design is nothing more than pure abstract meaning. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject matter at hand. What one sees is merely a hint of what is behind it. This is true whether the subject in its finished state be realistically treated or painted in an abstract manner. The abstract structure of a work is its theme; the thing represented is its idea. Both reflect the intangible expression. The Creative study of ART involves gut wrenching self-analysis. How you feel about the work is all that matters! Effective analysis includes the process of delving into the Artists' intention and discovering how he actualized the form itself. Can you feel him, see him, and hear him as he labors in constant doubt and self-denigrating remorse?

When actively engaged in the rendering, applying, studying and understanding of the cosmic visualizations through ART, one gets so much more than by just looking: an erotic experience is added to visual experience. Was it not Plato who said: "It is beauty I seek, not beautiful things"? An artist knows that to create beauty in oneself instead of trying to find it ready-made (either in places or things) causes one to implode with indescribable potential. He may be tempted to do little more than make a duplication of artistic inventory of the places and things he's absorbed instead of creating something original, but if he chooses this route he would be no different from the man who looks for 'quick fixes' to complex problems. 

As Matisse has so embeddedly stated: "There is inherent truth which must be disengaged from outward appearance of the object to be represented. This is the only truth that matters. Exactitude is not truth." The implicate need for man to know and comprehend the loathsome parts of himself through the divine nature which he inhabits ever spurs him on in conquest. If the meaning of God was implicitly exact, he would cease his search."The great epoch of the Spiritual which is already beginning, or in embryonic form, began yesterday...provides and will provide the soil in which a kind of monumental work of ART must come to fruition", cried Wassily Kandinsky in 1910. Unless we probe into the Artist behind the Artist, we will never be able to function satisfactorily. The Cavemen spoke to us; as did the Mayans, Egyptians, Romans, Etruscans and many, many others. We need to heed their Artistic wisdom, capitalizing on their fingers pointing to the direction of what lies within. With pitiful ineptitude do we try to disentangle the meanings of ART of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Without the latent cosmic insight found within all ART, we miss the point of ART. A survey of the history of ancient, mundane and everyday ART impresses us indelibly with the fact that it is a continuous personal soul-seeking exploration. Each period has its own reflection of GOD encased. Without the application of the inherent cosmic aspect immersed in it as its viable means of expression, each related to the atmosphere of the time in which it flourished ART loses its universal appealing force of connection. Man's never-ending search for the association, the semblance, and the aura of God is contractually sought by and though the Artist's hands. The irreplaceable aspects of the origin of temperate divinity are immeasurably locked within the person who seeks to destroy in order to create. The eternal immutable substance, known as LIFE, like the divine essence of truth contained in ART cannot be destroyed but stands everlasting as a banner waving for those "...who seek diligently will find..." (paraphrased) Isaiah.Writings Bay (https://writingsbay.com/

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