Why We Need Art

"As I sit here on a grey, Spring day in the Pacific Northwest looking out my window at the bright green leaves of the Japanese Maple tree, which is framed by the red tufts of Pieris Japonica below it, I wonder how many ways such a view has been translated by a myriad of artists over the centuries.


What we see and how we see it, and the desire to share our vision and experience it with others is very much a part of what drives an artist to become a visual translator. My experience right now of how the light is falling on a weave of many colors of green can be shared in words, but to share it with paint strokes seems more bold and definitive, more like capturing and personalizing the moment. Perhaps I not only feel more confident that my experience will be shared accurately, but the actual elation of making a visual statement is beyond compare. To move a mound of color across a page or canvas is pure freedom, unlike any other feeling; to call it Bliss is getting somewhere close. To experience Bliss is something most humans desire but often feel at a loss to attain. For those who feel intimidated by a paintbrush, sitting for hours in front of Monet's Water Lilies might bring them a peacefulness approaching Bliss, and so they seek out those visual moments that artists have managed to capture and share.


Humans have relied on storytelling as a way to preserve history and culture. Certainly, before the written word, people either captured their history lessons with song, or they painted pictures on cave walls. Pictographs and hieroglyphics became the first alphabets, transitioning language barriers, helping to build trade routes while mapping newly explored worlds.


Imagery, and finding ways to share it, is probably one of the most human things we do; from petroglyphs to selfies, we cherish and hunger for the ability to express ourselves non verbally. And therein lies to power of Art and Artistic vision; seeing an image, whether it is Christ on the Cross or Andy Warhol's "Campbell's Soup" painting, elicits a bevy of emotions and references that dig deep into the subconscious wonderland of gathered information, both cultural and personal.


Art serves an enormous purpose in our lives, even when we don't recognize it as Art per say. We live in an era abundant in advertising and sound bitten imagery flashes that hurl at us constantly, from the Internet, social media and T.V., all the way to subway signage and graffiti. Try to think of a moment in the last hour where you did not look at a picture of something. Even with your eyes closed you probably dream ... all this imagery is important to us as human beings .... it is our currency; and it has the power to glue us together, just as it has the power to break us apart ... that is phenomenal!

The world of politics would be naught but for the power of imagery, and for the very same reason Art, and the funding of Art is one of the first things to be cut in a totalitarian regime. So what do people do when the nourishment of Art and imagery becomes endangered? How do they keep their stories, identities and cultural beliefs in tact?


Is it possible that these very moments of endangerment are when creativity thrives most? Artists and Craftsmen are by definition "problem solvers"; they have to be! Who else could look at a piece of stone and see a wheel? Who else could understand the power of a Musical to get people up and dancing and singing together when the world seems to be falling apart? The very positive nature of making things is constructive, especially in the face of destruction.


Art is the actual fabric that cultures are made of. How people dress, the tools and utensils and modes of transport they create or decorate, and the buildings they live and worship in; every culture I can think of uses elements of design in every aspect of their lives, even if we eventually take all those things for granted. Perhaps it is when they start to go missing that we notice them most; their absence is like a gasp, or an empty desert. That is why it is the Arts and the appreciation of them that keeps the world alive and functional ... Art is more than just a pretty picture ... it is all around you!"


To get more on KeKe and to view her mesmerizing work follow the link below.