Art as Liberation from Captivity

My Sophia series was not inspired by a theological position. Neither was it created to push a certain line of thought or develop an idea or fit into one. It was not motivated by an intentional ideology, consciously anyway. Instead, it was a visual articulation of a deep inner movement that demanded manifestation on paper. I had no intentions, no plans, no goals, and no agenda with these images except the pleasure I had in drawing them. It was like art therapy or playful journal entries — my private confessions. They are an irresistible and automatic outward expression of my inward journey.

It wasn't until after the inspiration to draw Sophia dried up that I realized they told a story. Drawing them took two years. It was only then that I thought of using them for something other than my own personal memoirs. It took another two years to write the accompanying meditations for the images, like afterthoughts.

For me, this is the most powerful and effective kind of artistic expression. I'm turned off by art that is preaching or propagandizing or trying to convert me. Art may move me, but when that's its intention it often doesn't.

In other words, if I create art to conform to an external theology, it weakens it. But if I create art to express playfully, then maybe it will present something that others may be moved by. It is intuitive rather than cognitive. When I hear from people who have read The Liberation of Sophia and they tell me that the images spoke to them and helped them to find their own truth, their own means of escape, their own path, and their own joy in self-discovery and realization of truth, then I feel that my art has been the truest expression.

I almost said, "It served its purpose!" But that's exactly what I do not mean. It wasn't created to achieve that. If it had been I don't think it would have worked in the same way. But when I created it free from intention, playfully, then others were free to find their own meaning in it, hopefully just as playfully.

So, artists, let's not preach. Let's play!

2/4/2015 5:00:00 AM
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