Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
Art is a glimpse into the hearts, minds and souls of the people, cultures and civilizations that came before us. Whether it be Prehistoric, Egyptian, Greek or the Renaissance – art enables the educated viewer an opportunity to step back and experience another moment in time.
Great art is like a time machine. It transports us back in time. If you know how to unlock the symbolism and iconography embedded in it you can literally experience a shared moment with artists like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock. These artists all worked at different times and regions yet they all have something to say to us about themselves and the cultures in which they lived and worked.
Some artist like Van Gogh and Caravaggio are more emotionally expressive – some more intellectually curious like Da Vinci, others deeply spiritual and some are intensely manic. Some comment on the society they lived in and others bare the deepest core of their soul using lines, shapes, colors, and geometric and/or natural forms to communicate to their viewers. One thing artists all have in common and that is they use artistic creative expression to tap into some dimension of what it is to be human and they have visually illustrated all aspects of the human condition since prehistoric times.
Art enriches our lives, it makes us think, dream, question, wonder and can even give us hope. The more one learns about art the more its mysteries are revealed. There is so much more to art than just what we as viewers see “face value”.
Take a good hard look at Starry Night for example. Ask yourself…what was Van Gogh thinking, feeling, saying in his explosive paintings? Do the same with the work of Michelangelo, Delacroix, Caravaggio, Picasso and/or Pollock. They all used art to filter then communicate external (and internal) reality through their personal creative sensibility.
They used art to communicate something about themselves and the world they lived in. They made art to reach up to glorify God or reach deep down inside themselves in search of deeper meaning. Most artists are driven to create art – they have no real choice in the matter.
So where is art going now that we live in the digital age?
The possibilities and tools for creating art are almost infinite due to the creative power of digital technology and computers. I often wonder what Leonardo Da Vinci would have done if he had a computer and Photoshop.
Just because we have much better and more powerful tools for making art now doesn’t mean we have better artists.
There is one thing for certain and that is ART through the ages certainly gives us a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the people that came before us.