The Purpose of Art

The Art Principle

The old adage is I think therefore I am, but the argument could be I create, therefore I am. Art is an integral part of the human experience. We have developed art in various forms. Music, dance, words, sculptures, and compositions are all physical interpretations of the imagination. And while the subject the matter has taken us from painting horses in small caves to Starry Night‘s and now even further into the future. The purpose of art has not.

Collectively we have always attempted to connect to one another. Our shared experiences are what binds us. We move and therefore thrive in the community around us. The purpose of art is an indispensable part of being human, it transcends the individual. In this sense, Art, as creativity, is something humans must do by their very nature. It is therefore beyond utility. Art is the intersection of imagination and fabrication. Artwork specifically compositions are an unspoken language we all understand. The meaning or the purpose of the piece being unique to the individual.

Compositions are distinct in their very nature. Their meanings are a part of the everyday fabric of our lives. They’ve made their way from the gilded halls of the world’s most famous castles to our street corners. We have taken art out of the cave to the museum and now to our homes. The journey of paintings is a mural of the history of man. Where we started, where we are now and eventually where we want to be.

Edward Hopper - Chop Suey

David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist ( Pool with Two Figures), 1972 is one of the seven most expensive Artworks sold in 2018

First came fire, then came art.

Throughout the history of mankind, we have always used art as a medium to explain the world around us. In the middle ages, artists used the medium to explain divinity, the Church’s function, and major movements from paganism to Christianity. During the renaissance artist like Michelangelo used art as a way to communicate the relevancy of the church. Not only was he a master painter, creating the Sistine Chapel he much like his Florentine rival Leonardo Di Vinci was a man of science. Realizing the world of around them was rapidly changing they used their talent to help communicate those changes to the masses.

The creation of art is nothing new. 63,000 years ago we painted murals in caves. In Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in the Ardèche region of France lies some of the best-preserved murals of cave paintings. Those artists used their tools and cunning to create an intricate mural of their landscape. Capturing a snapshot into their everyday lives. Animals they preyed on and were prey to are just some of the examples that this piece offers us. A glimpse into the challenges of that time. As Robert McBryde says “The painter’s function, generally speaking, is to explore and demonstrate in his work the interdependency of forms.

The Purpose of Art is in cave paintings too.
Cave paintings in Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, France

Purpose of Art – To be, perchance to create

Arman – Le Grand Discobole 2001

“Art has no other purpose than to brush aside… the conventional and accepted generalities, in short everything that veils reality from us, in order to bring us face to face with reality itself” Henri Bergson.

The creation of art is as important as its purpose. Our creation of art is not only a part of our self discovery but a part of our self-therapy. Helping us give physical form to the emotions inside of us. Jackson Pollock once said, ” The modern artist is working with space and time, and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating”. He let the purpose of his art speak through him and created pieces that spoke to his journey of self-discovery. Arman believed that “ Art is a work on memory. It proposes common forms that reflect the world and helps us to think“. He let his work be a testimonial to the world around him. A mirror for the way he viewed the world.

Art pieces – Reminders of the journey

Desir - Statue by Barbara Soia
Barbara Soïa – Désir

However far away the art of the past seems from us today we are still moved by the same desire to create. Even in small children before they learn to stencil their alphabet they are allowed to express themselves through painting. Amazed by the world around them, they use their imagination to explain life as they know it. Artists’ provide insight into their vision; providing us with some clarity of their reality. While we may not all be Claude Monet – the devotion to create and have a piece of art as a reminder of the journey we all are on is paramount to our very existence.

As Barabara Soïa says “At the heart of uncertainty find the first tenderness. Approach slowly something. A way of feeling alive, being aware of the flowing life, and be there to give the relay to the earth and to the impalpable.” The purpose of creating art or even owning art is that it connects us to one another. How we disclose the inner workings of our thoughts and bring them into physical form.

Ownership over visitation

Art in its most base form is a conversation piece. But beyond that, revisiting an art piece on a daily basis is an experience all its own. We step back to a moment in time as our eyes wash over art that spoke to our inner being so instinctually that we simply had to own it. Each time we view our chosen art it brings emotion into our day. Perhaps the emotion is old, perhaps it is new or even a mix of the past and present. Only the art, resting on its laurels in our living space knows the truth it brought to our mind in that singular moment.

It is neither the artist or the artwork that is truly provoking. But our reaction to it. What it invokes from us. Our shared experiences to artwork is what makes compositions a unique medium. We all experience the same work differently – letting its voice speak to us on an individual level.

Olivier Masmonteil – Paysage #5 2018

Purpose of Art – Art for you

The purpose of art is the inspiration you derive from it. We have been pooling our creative resources for many millennia. Whether it is the scribbles of your toddler you display on your fridge or Olivier Masmonteil Paysage #5 they speak to us individually and connect us to one another. Whether or not it is terrible, successful, beautiful or a project done in vain is debatable, but it being art is not. Art finds its own truth in the simple fact that’s its creation was nothing short of a human’s desperate need to put their eye to the looking glass of self and show the world what truly lived inside them. This is how we are connected without language and without movement.

Art is the great unifier able to connect us even if the subject is taboo. In those pieces that we collect, we see ourselves. Art becomes a pause in the middle of our hectic reality, a mirror we can stare into and for once, not analyze the reflection so critically. “The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being”. Carl Jung. Art is the light of our mere beings. It guides us and gives us hope, not only for today but also for the future.

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