Too often in today’s high-speed technological environment, solid beliefs, innovative conceptualization and creative production are ignored or watered down. A current art-world norm is to allow the uninspired and uneducated to set world trends and to permit devious, unqualified sellers to misrepresent inferior quality as superior.
Art offers us the opportunity to view the results of another person’s original, inspired inventiveness. Through it, we can interpret freely how an artist felt and perceived an aspect of nature, life, death, or the unknown.
It inspires and arouses passion, ideologies, awareness, debate and action. It represents an imaginary, abstracted or factual recounting of events, thoughts or emotions and it expresses its creator’s unique intuition, conviction, feeling, character, and talent.
Art is envisioned and constructed from observant aptitude derived from experience.
Throughout the centuries it has been an outlet from which adept, advanced intellectuals, theorists, prophets, and virtuosos have struggled to reveal poetic majesty, radical theory, sensitive insight, and psychological discoveries with little concern for outside opinion or financial reward.
The unselfish, unrestricted artist challenges through inventive creation societal taboos, laws, and beliefs to interpret and expose cultural and psychological splendors and horrors.
Awe-inspiring, revolutionary artists reveal segments of nature and parts of themselves in a chivalrous, spontaneous manner. They liberally dare to chronicle the obvious and the forthcoming or what has been overlooked, forgotten, concealed, and forbidden.
The most poetical can be lyrically sensuous and delicately refined. They venture without hesitation toward the unfamiliar hoping to expand awareness and to have an original thought or find a new artistic expression.
A superior artist reveals the aesthetic levels a spiritual being is capable of attaining and explores in an individualistic manner the obvious and indistinct possibilities held within existence. Art divulges intimate truths about its maker, gives of itself in a communicative sense and offers meaning and visual stimulus to those who identify and gaze upon it.
When the definitions for art’s authenticity and quality modify, so does public judgment and creative output. Artists who are fed up with the “word from our sponsor” mentality, force themselves to redefine their visual language, but too few have the stamina or guts to find or remain on the cutting-edge as they fight social bias, marketing erroneousness and public ignorance.
Few have strong enough convictions or the innate talent it takes to release resourceful genius, without giving too much attention to earning a living. Like many in the art world, they are willing to sacrifice their souls and talents to devote themselves to pleasing the uninformed in order to pay bills.
Most know it is easier to become a part of the “give-them-what-they-want” art world, than it is to struggle to produce and sell uniquely inspired work that may be rejected because it is so advanced it is misunderstood.
Commercialism has taken over the marketplace and has anesthetized the art world and public mindset. Stroking the wants and needs of the unaware to satiate greed causes artists to focus on easily earned money, rather than to attempt inventiveness or keep artistic integrity intact.
That obscenity is becoming the tragic, pitiful spirit of the 21st-century.
For art to remain pivotal in people’s lives, artists need to be sponsored and encouraged to experiment freely, so that their avant-garde, profound creations and outspoken prophecies will be so distinguished that they startle the numb and sightless into recognizing legitimacy.
The greatest among them expose truth regardless of reward or consequence. They refuse to be polarized or herded like goats into a futile end game. They do not accept the philosophy: “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” They do not permit controllers to erase or alter their true nature, because the animal within them is awake, stirring and transforming and it yearns to leave an indelible mark.
They are the unselfish, humane few who judiciously acknowledge that the creative process is a brave attempt to be all one can be, and that to place one’s main concern on money or opinion is not in the equation.
Those artists hope critics applaud their inherent talent, evaluate without bias or reward their creations, and candidly report discoveries that inform.
Like artistic seers before them, those who express themselves without restraint continue to shove society toward awareness and salvation, whether it likes it or not. Those daring few — and those who thoughtfully and truthfully recognize and appreciate their unique genius — will help to keep the art world meaningful and vital.
Patricia Jobe Pierce is a freelance writer, art historian, art dealer-consultant, certified AAA appraiser, public speaker, photographer and American art authenticator for museums, auction houses and collectors. She graduated from Boston University with a BFA in 1965, is owner and director of Pierce Galleries, Inc. in Nantucket and Hingham, Mass., and is author of many works, including, "Art Collecting & Investing: The Inner Workings and the Underbelly of the Art World." For more of her submissions, Click Here Now.
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