Music, poetry, and books – all these have held me and continue to do so during these weird times, which are feeling strangely normal.
I have long felt the value of artistic expressions and productions. Art has brought a certain gladness, many smiles and a sense of connection to something far greater than I.
There are many who share my feelings, yet are they proof of Art’s value? And are artists to be respected and valued for the work they do?
In a capitalist world and where productivity is the measure of worth, there is still an underlying query of whether good (however defined) art is worth a lot of money. Banksy’s “Show me the Monet” sold a couple of weeks ago at Sotheby’s London for 7.6 million pounds.
Sometimes function is the measure – we are prepared to pay a lot for products which make our lives more efficient or convenient.
And if Art is not being validated by a high price, is it still worthy? And worthy by its products, or of its function, or something else entirely?
What good is art? Is Art’s function or usefulness to feed the soul – healing, inspiring and motivating?
Recently I came across this anonymous quote. It says,
“If you think artists are useless, try to spend your quarantine without music, books, poems, movies, paintings and games.“
Maybe through this pandemic, we now have a collective experience of how Art has been here to see us through. It helps us to build connections – to tell stories in different forms to engineer a common bond.
Art has also been a vehicle for critique or merely to shine a light on perhaps the hypocrisy or inequality of contemporary society. What does “Show me the Monet” say to you about our life?
Art gives voice to those who would otherwise not have been heard. Every one of us needs witnesses to our lived experience and to the stories we tell. And these artists in turn create a space for our hearts to dwell.
Our hearts, not just our minds, need a prominent place in this turbulent world.
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