Art and creativity are the two most important things that human beings have ever done. The expression that comes from ventures across the artistic spectrum is something that connects us to each other and ourselves. While not everyone will agree on the artistic merit of a creative piece, I think anyone who has ever enjoyed anything artistic will concur that the effort behind every outcome is what is most important. The fact that someone tried to take what is inside and transform it through his or her chosen medium is one of the definitions of beauty. In other words, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but the effort it takes to have it beheld cannot be denied as anything other than a brave act.
Bravery is not something I really have any experience in beyond the external appreciation of it. Artistic bravery, specifically, is always awe inducing. I’ve spent a lot of time watching, reading, and listening. The insanity that might be behind some of the creations is what has kept me mostly sane, and because I haven’t had the chance to connect with others with respect to art, I have had the chance to discover things about myself that I wouldn’t have necessarily been able to find out without the perspective changing nature of what I perceive as “great” art. The books I like are possibly the ones you hate and vice versa. Same goes for music and films. I’ve found that the reasons I enjoy something are threefold: I can relate to it, I find it entertaining, and I wish I had the chance to create it myself. Ultimately, I like things that make me feel something. In feeling and experiencing, we learn. Like most people, I have a soundtrack to my life. Sometimes it’s a conscious thing and sometimes it’s not. The song I think that I relate to the most with respect to you is “Devonshire and Crown” as performed by Tony Sly. It basically says everything I’m thinking and feeling. Which is why I think it’s a great song.
I think every piece of art impacts us in the way it does because it also speaks and represents a part of our lives at the time we experience it. Children’s books and television shows are a great example. I loved “Where The Wild Things Are” when I was a kid, but now, while I still think it’s a great book, I think it’s a great book for kids. But it spoke to me when I was younger, much like the painting I bought from an artist in a building I was housed in a few years ago. It was a tough buy because I hadn’t really thought I could do it without reprisal, but I figured the artist was a nice guy and I liked the painting and if it got lost or destroyed I at least got to enjoy it for the time that I had it. And a small part of me thought that maybe, in some far flung way, I could get it to you someday so you could appreciate it as well. I kept it for a few days in that apartment and gave it back to the artist for “safe-ish” keeping, saying I or someone might return for it and no matter who showed up he should relinquish it without argument. Who knows? Maybe it would a goon with a gun and we both know I don’t need any more blood on my hands.
I wish I had the bravery to create and the extra level of bravery to present it to the world. I don’t 100% believe that people create things “just for themselves”, but if there are people out there that do that then I guess I’ll never know because if their art and work is just for themselves then they won’t put it out into the world so I will never experience it. Kudos to them for that, but I do wish they would give their effort to the world, even if it’s something I wouldn’t enjoy.
Because, ultimately, who the fuck am I to judge?