An exchange of comments on my last blog post made me ponder – What is art? Who is an artist? And some parallel streams of thought suddenly connected. Erich Fromm in The Art of Loving talks about wanting to dissolve separateness as a driving, fundamental need of man.
We live, I sense, in a constant state of tension – between the urge to establish our unique identity, our individuality, our separateness from the multitude of humanity and the equally deep yearning to merge with, be one with, for want of a better word, the `essence’ of life that is in all creation. To connect.
Art, to me, seems to be a beautiful way of marrying these two divergent needs. The artist in choosing his medium, his language, in his creativity expresses his individuality, his uniqueness. In offering the gift of his creation to others he seeks to connect with them, not just superficially, but in a very deep sense. To make a `soul connect’.
Seth Godin in a recent post says, ` Art is not in the eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist” So what IS art? One way of looking at it is, art is that which goes beyond the minimum, necessary functional requirement of a task. Be it a poem, a painting, the elegant flip of a roomali roti, the perfectly timed six that Sachin hit yesterday or the three lines of code that do what would otherwise have taken twenty lines – they are all art. And each one of these creators is an artist. Driven to take what they do to something beyond the ordinary. And in that final flourish of the brush, that last keystroke the artist feels a deep sense of completion.
The English-born, Canadian painter Arthur Lismer said, “.. an artist is, a child who has never lost the gift of looking at life with curiosity and wonder”
And of that curiosity and wonder is born what we term `art’. Heres to the artist in each one of us – wondering, curious, just waiting to make art!