What constitutes art? Creativity? Intention? Expression? Portrayal? Evocation? Form? Content? Is art an aesthetic quality? If so is this objective? Subjective? Projective? Pablo Picasso said, “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” Thomas Merton said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Calvin (of “and Hobbes” fame), said, “As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.”
I don’t know how to define what constitutes art, but I know that my life would be infinitely dreary without creativity and imagination. For far too long, religion has sought to control, critique, and where necessary suppress imagination out of fear, and a thirst for power. I’m thankful that there seems to be a growing understanding that beauty possesses a kind of power that cannot be ignored or controlled, that we have nothing to fear from imagination, and much to fear from its suppression or neglect.
I am supremely uneducated when it comes to fine art. I don’t know art history, and have only a rudimentary understanding of classical art, and then only Western. I know that I miss most of the creativity that surrounds me every day. Hans Urs von Balthalthasar once wrote, “Works of art can die as a result of being looked at by too many dull (geistlos) eyes, and even the radiance of holiness can, in a way, become blunted when it encounters nothing but hollow indifference.” My geistlos eyes can see only blunted holiness. Maybe that’s why I think this video is so stinking funny to me.
My favorite line so far? “I have 27 pairs of underpants on today.”
A close second is, “For that want to keep a box… at least we can expand their box… or just add more boxes.”
Happy Friday everyone.