Is Art Necessary?
I make paper collage paintings and enjoy painting with acrylic on canvas. I especially like learning new methods and styles of painting.
However for a while now I have been plagued with the question”Is artwork necessary?” I’ve felt perhaps I need to put my time to better use. Do something quite productive and rewarding. Do something which would improve the world, something really useful and possibly to make a difference. And also find my goal. Yes the perennial question – is that all there is? Suddenly making art began to feel like a sort of selfish indulgence. So I began to think whether any art was necessary in any respect.
Each and every day I read the morning newspaper. The news is of crimes committed. Of dreadful crimes against women and small children. Of the devastation wrought by natural calamities. Of the corrupt politicians destroying the social fabric for private gain. Off Ill-informed folks running the market to the ground. Incorrect people in the helm of affairs suppressing and destroying the good. Makes me wonder if anything could ever help stop the rot. Hardly gives me some reason to grin in any respect. Save for the small cartoon on the back page, Calvin and Hobbes.
The little animation Calvin and Hobbes appeared to be the one thing relieving me from the persistent depression of the morning newspaper. The cleverly drawn animation with hardly three or four panels communicating an idea usually a witty one. Drawing the reader into the life span of a little child sometimes making the reader wonder where the story goes . I’m always compelled to see this animation. Even on mornings when I’m running late I’ve got a fast look at the animation. On vacations I take the opportunity to sit down and marvel at the talent of this cartoonist. The way the stuffed tiger seems so living in 1 panel and enjoy a toy at the next.
So what’s this animation if not artwork I asked myself? It provides me a momentary respite from the gloomy news and tediousness of the daily newspaper. So is not that art is supposed to do?
In a world plagued with despair perhaps art is like the clouds parting and allowing in a beam of sunshine. There’ll always be death and destruction and tears and blood. There’ll always be bad news and individuals in need of assistance. But then art must exist also. Art provides a type of relief to the dreariness of someone’s life. Maybe this could be why they left so much art in the previous centuries when daily life was a mill and there was so much illness and suffering from plagues and wars. And now when we look art works in the past we are uplifted and full of a feeling of awe, of the greatness of the eyesight, of the enormity of the talent and of the permanence of the works.
This is the reason art is essential. Though not all artwork can be compared to the excellent masters, in its own way every art speaks to someone. It will provide that glimmer of light in a muddy day. It elevates the spirit of its manufacturer and makes the viewer consider if only for a moment a glimpse into another world. And if it’s actually great artwork, it makes the viewer pause and grin or be awed.
So art is essential. All art is essential. I arrived at the conclusion that it was important for me to continue to create art for myself and for the sake of others.