Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Where is Art? (meandering thoughts)
There are many arts. My photo teacher was Art. My cousin who left Earth last Friday was Art. And art is art...in all her myriad forms. Mikeangelo (intentionally misspelled... but that's for another post... ) said that his figures were trapped in the marble and that he'd have to release them.
Recently (since I was born) I've been looking at art in terms of seeing how the artist saw life. How did he make sense of this seemingly chaos? How did he deal with tragedy and joy. Sometimes I see new ways of dealing with these issues myself and sometimes I feel that that artists have avoided these questions. Probably that art that avoids this reflection of life has value...but I find I'm not too interested in it.
How is it that one can make art with no interest in this topic? And people pay big bucks to look at art purely for carnal pleasure. The other day I was listening to a book on tape that was directed to young adults. It was pure blood and guts. Maybe there was some socially redeeming statement that was supposed to open my eyes, but instead the vicious narrative just left me with a bad feeling.
Part of my interest in zen is my interest in working on these basic questions of life, such as, where did we come from and where are we going? What is right action and what is not? What is this, whether it be a spot on the wall or a gushing oil well? And what am I when I quiet down and face the music...what ever that means? It is something like looking at oneself in the mirror...not to judge but simple to see what is on the other side.
As I think of the other two Arts who have left Earth I am left with vivid memories and teachings. Imagine that someone said "April fools" and then confessed that they did not really leave Earth. Would things really be different? Yes. Would they be more real? Now we are comparing infinities and we see that the vividness of the memories are immense.
So the question remains, "where is Art?" and how do I find her. And what then? I asked my grandson this question at dinner. It was all too obvious to him. He said he just sits down and makes a drawing. I wish it was that simple for me. Or maybe not.
I tried (and failed) to convince my students that it was better to be able to appreciate a sidewalk than to own a yacht. With the sidewalk t...