“Painting makes absent men present and the dead seem alive,” wrote Leon Battist Albert, the fifteenth-century Italian humanist. “I paint to preserve the www.lifeofanartist.nl likeness of men after their death,” wrote Albrecht Duer in sixteenth-century Germany. As long as we, mortals breathe, we will create. Unrecognized artists are constantly at work creating their specific themes in their homes, yards, work places and preferred colorful activities to alert the world of their arrival and temporary abode on earth. The Parthenon was built to house a colossal sculpture of the patron goddess Athena. We are housed to imbue the divine. Through countless unmistakable artistic works, man wants to create/express his individual likeness of the ineffable sublime. ART represents through him, that immortal part which declares, “I am Divine; that which is Divine lives in and through me. I make visible the ever flowing effervescent light which can not be destroyed, subdued or silenced.” Like gold we shine unremittingly as the sun.
In various cultures and civilizations, gold was commonly used in various artifacts. Gold can not be destroyed. By melting it, the impurities seep into the container leaving only the purest essence. Could the artist through the artistic process possibly display in/through his creations an unmistakable forgoing, melting and molding of the impurities found within himself, leaving only the brightest virtues and incalculable beauty to behold? Yet, is beauty only that which is pleasing to the eye? Can not beauty equally present, withstand and incorporate the ugly, morbid, loathed and despised? Always in the imbedded impetus of ART rides the wave of greed/gluttony no matter how cleverly disguised. Be that as it may, the primary purpose of any Artistic expression is to elevate mankind, in spite of himself or his human frailties. Even the looters who have stolen precious priceless ART have been transformed in the very act of the thievery. ART moves and as with god/goddess/goddit will not be possessed. The final resting place of many invaluable pieces has yet to be established.
Many undisclosed factors filter into ART’S contribution to mankind. ART ‘takes on’ the temperature and environment of where it is produced and transported. The work itself becomes a polyglot of every aspect in culture that came before it. Master works are the children of thousand of years of diverse heritage. It does not just arise out of itself but has been wooed for hundreds of thousands of years in the genes of the person bringing it to life. ART represents a basis for us to react with a grand exhibition of emotions. From fear to outrage, pleasure to amusement we are either attracted or repelled by what we see. We see can never fully envision or appreciate the extent of effort and energy that went into producing the ART. We are allowed to observe but the mere shell of the representation of something far more involved than first meets the eye. That which one views is but a hint of that ‘untouchable quality’ which exists in totality.
What is it that we are actually observing? What is it about a certain work of ART that inspires, compels, repels or disturbs us? We are not only looking at the work, but behind the work into the god reflected in ourselves. We see what we are. We can do nothing else. Our eyes are colored and conditioned by the complications and contaminations of our own unique experiences, events, and relationships. ART is the conductor that either connects or disconnects, causing us to move beyond where we presently reside or to continue to whine, complain, criticize and bemoan our current place. It matters not whether we like or dislike what we are observing. If we truly look further, deeper, wider and longer we will find what we are looking for: a part of ourselves and the divinity that lies buried within waiting for expression.