Dead Artists

Social media has changed the way we think about art.  It is no longer a medium for intellectuals and highbrow social climbers.  One doesn't have to travel across town in their finery to attend an art opening to reap the benefits of what an artist has to share.  Art in all of its forms, good and bad, assault us from every angle almost every moment of our waking day.  We may not like to think of television ads and pop songs as artistic mediums, but the creative element is involved in their manufacturing just like every other art form.

Art is literally delivered to us all the time.  We are saturated by it.  Sometimes even overwhelmed by it.  It is because of this avalanche of creative marketing and sensory stimulus that we have become accustomed to tuning things out.  Unless we make that old fashioned field trip to the museum or art gallery, it becomes difficult to sort the good from the bad.  It becomes difficult for us to appreciate art the way it should be appreciated. 

There are no holidays that celebrate the achievements of great artists.  We aren't called upon to ponder the meaning of poetry or music or dance.  To me, this seems a great injustice to fields that illuminate our collective history.  Art in all its forms is a direct representation of its time.  It's like a magic window to our own past.  No science or history can create something that retains its appeal over centuries.  Yet we still look in wonderment at art.  Gaze at a painting by Vincent Van Gogh painted in 1872.  Get lost in the colors.  Feel what he felt in that moment as you see what he saw over a century ago.  Now, ask yourself who the President of France was when this was painted.  Not sure?  It was Adolphe Thiers. 

Why is it that the accomplishments of a poor and unbalanced man such as Vincent should survive when most people would be completely unaware of who the most important man in France at the time was?  Why does the physical representation of a field enthrall us more than the accomplishments of a man of power?

Van Gogh still whispers to us.  Jackson Pollock continues to confound and challenge us.  Andy Warhol makes us feel like a star.  DaVinci still keeps his secrets.  Dali awakens our dreams.  And Fragonard?  He still reminds us what it feels like to have our heart beat a little faster when we feel the first stirrings of romance.

Every artist deserves a day to be recognized.  To be separated and acknowledged above the din of our everyday lives.  Listen carefully.  They have secrets to share.  Adventures to guide you on.  Mysteries for you to explore. 

The men and women who created the art may be gone, but for one day let us admire their work and understand their vision.  When we understand that, we understand ourselves a little better.