It Is Not About Art!

January 24, 2012

Having a gallery on a High Street for 10 years gives one some experience, even if that particular one is a lazy bum. Artists! Those of you who had a misfortune opportunity to invigilate exhibitions or be a proud owner of a gallery – you know what I mean. One wouldn’t want to spend more time sitting in a gallery than is vitally necessary. Because it is boring.

But I diverge.

The experience. The experience I couldn’t help but get during these last 10 years brings me to a number of conclusions, and one of them is:

It Is Not About Art!

Apart from those obsessed individuals who make it big in art, there are hordes of artists or “artists” and wanna-be-artists who never will make anything out of it, neither they want to make it big. What DO they want then?

Freedom and Creativity.

Freedom is essential to health and sanity.

Unfortunately, civilised society replaced freedom with formulas designed to achieve security, because civilised society puts security above freedom. More – it is actively and aggressively promotes those formulas to the effect that freedom long seized to be a norm, but became a luxury. It is exclusive to those who are extremely rich and/or rather mad.

What about general public?

My definition of general public: A large segment of society operating based on the current stereotypes of thought.

And so, general public believes, that:

  1. Freedom is expensive
  2. Freedom is unattainable
  3. When you retire you’ll have it
  4. Artists have freedom
  5. You pay for freedom by being poor
  6. Artists are mad, take drugs, irresponsible, but most importantly
  7. …majority of them cannot make ends meet.

Given that, and the fact that freedom is essential to human health and sanity, are you still wandering why the humanity is not OK?

And then there is Creativity. Creativity is essential to health and sanity.
But general public is led to believe that Creativity is:

  1. A luxury
  2. Limited to a few talanted people
  3. Who rarely make a living through it
  4. It is a re-creational activity and you can do it when retire.

Are you still wandering why humanity is not OK?

How did I come to these conclusions while minding a gallery?

I talked to visitors. You are probably aware, that independent art galleries don’t normally charge for entry. They hardly can. They are not exactly crowded to be able to do that. And among those scares numbers of visitors there is a big percentage of those who are

  • “artists”
  • wanna-be-artists
  • thinking-about-becoming-an-artist
  • retired and want to attend an art club
  • looking for an art class

and who want to know about how to be An Artist.
That a hint enough to realise, that creativity is essential and people are starved for it. But I think many of us assign a very few obvious activities to the vast field of human creativity.

My definition of creativity: Anything you do, as long as you do it by making it up as you go rather than following formulas.

A person who invents a wheel is being creative. A person who produces wheels is industrious. At the same time the industrious one can be very creative in making up ways of distributing his wheels. A person who paints a beautiful representation of a wheel is creative, as well as someone who creates an event to sell that painting. As long as they al make their own way of doing it, they are creative. Which in turn is based on a combination of someones formulas and their own application and interpretation of them, plus divine insights here and there.

Life is creative. Living is a creative act. We are all being creative all the time, actually! Why do we define SOME part of life as Art then?