Saturday, January 30, 2010

Art, As Expression and Free Speech

Artists are known to be a "little different". Perhaps, this is a stereotype, but it seems that artists do "see" things differently, "feel" things deeply, and express things vividly.

All art is a mixture of culture, history, and artist. This is why art is so "fun". Art reveals values, and the philosophy that forms the culture, as well as expresses something about the artist himself. Art is of value for itself because it reveals what is experienced in the present and the past throught the artist's eyes.

So, in thinking this morning about color and how to arrange the apartment and its furniture, I also thought about free speech, I realized that art is speech and art is expression. So, art is a form of "free speech" in societies. The question is: where are the lines in regards to art? Should there be lines about what is appropriate art? Does art form culture or is art a reflection of culture?

These questions are like asking the nurture/nature questions. Questions like these can never really be answered fully, as they are so intertwined. Whenever we ask such questions, then we ask about beginnings. What forms society and its values and meaning? I think many great artists are never really accepted by the social norm of their day, because they see "ahead" or understand principles of universialtiy that may not be reflected in a certain cultural time frame.

In the social frame these are social reformers, and in the humanities frame, these are the artists of literature, and art in its various forms. Art speaks to the heart before the head can get in the way. Because art reflects the "human" in a way that other things can't.

Just for example, my husband told me that he felt the apartment was "cold". When I told a couple of other people what he said, they responded that "he needed to turn up the heat". Their answer was an answer of science. But, what Wim really meant was that the apartment did not have "my decorator's stamp" on it. He felt an emotional coldness, because I don't like white walls. And he missed some of my personal taste in the apartment. The "flavor" of art, cannot be expressed by the chemicals that make up the paint.

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