Why is it worth it? Does art make you a better writer?
We’ve all heard this question on a regular basis, but I’ve never been as intrigued by it as I am by the notion, or at least the question, that art is the gateway to the truth about ourselves — that art is the gateway to true understanding.
Maybe it was the work of Pablo Picasso that got me interested in art: that painting of the bull-fighter on the battlefield is nothing more than a simple, but compelling symbol for the brutality of war. Or the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí (whose most famous work is the surrealist water-splatter photo of a man lying dead on his back) whose abstracts often have me thinking, “Wait, why is there a human face — why is there color? Why is there a form? Why are those arms at different heights?”
But what about this picture of a boy? It’s nothing more than a painting, with no inherent meaning, as its creator put it. It’s a drawing.
But why draw? Why not paint? I mean, it’s not like an artist draws a line or tries to convey something else. If you wanted to convey the essence of you, you’d draw something different.
But painting is what we do in response to the demands of our environments for expression in the realm of life, the human senses.
In fact, it’s the very act of painting that creates our understanding of what it means to be human. The reason why paintings are so powerful is, perhaps, because our emotions can only live in the realm of painting.
The reason why painting is so powerful is because our emotions can only live in the realm of painting.
We can’t live in the world as it is: it cannot express my pain. But we can draw on it, and that leads us to create art.
But there’s an ongoing, ongoing debate as to how important art is to a healthy community. The art community doesn’t understand the value of art, says one art teacher, who is critical of art classes. Her reasoning: if it was a “worth it” class to draw a portrait of a dog, the dog would be euthanized.
But we as a community think of art as useful to society — not a waste because we know the dog would be happy (and therefore would be happy with the painting).
But the dog would have been happy on a canvas
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