Is The Original Art Losing Its Individuality?

Posted on September 6, 2010 in Culture-Vulture

By Alex Mathew:

Why does the artist draw? Why does the musician play? And why does the poet write? Is it all one and the same? Physicists today are trying to develop a grand unified theory of the universe. One theory that says all, describes the way every single thing works. In my belief, art and science are two sides of the same coin. In the true intellectual abstract way of looking at things, science is the fruit of logic, whilst art is the fruit of expression. Science is food for the intellect, whilst art is food for the spirit. And like the grand unified theory in science, I believe that in art too, there is such a thing, and I call it creative expression, the mother of all that is art.

It underlies all that can really be called art. For the true artist, his work is his fantasy land, his universe where he defines all there is, he is the master of his empire. Art was never something that was reserved for the “upper” classes of society to practice or appreciate.

Art and culture (refined appreciation of art) is something that is very close to philosophy, something that today is either hyped or ridiculed. But I say that philosophy is not something to be taken lightly, it is the link and the unifying agent between art and science, the fundamental question that we are all trying to answer. According to the dictionary, philosophy is defined as, “The use of reason and argument in seeking truth, especially of ultimate reality or/of general principles

The true artist seeks meaning, and so does the philosopher, and if we sit back and look at this a little more objectively, so does the scientist, each through his/her own means.

What I am trying to propose here is that these things are one and the same in spirit. This is a little hard to digest, and even a little hard for me to fully articulate. I can feel it in my gut, but converting it into logical and sequenced sentence is too much for me right now. I can perhaps sing a song about it, or maybe paint a picture, but explaining it is really challenging. And so through my previous three sentences, I hope you can see what art, science, and logic in their truest sense share in common, everything except the outer shell. Both are “expression”, art being qualitative, science being quantitative.

So you see, the modern hype generated today about art and culture is nothing but a sham. It is really preposterous for a person to look at a few splashes of paint randomly and be so opinionated. Yet that is what we see today in the art world. Suddenly everyone has become so “refined” and so “deep”. What is even funnier is that today you need a rather large wallet to be a part of such things. And so we have succeeded again, in desecrating something beautiful into a materialistic, snobbish, pastime whose sole purpose is to put up a disguise in front of society. It has turned into the tool money hungry businessmen use to look morally proper. We have missed the point.

When rock and roll music first emerged, it was a voice against this , it was everything that stood against the system. Today, it’s the very voice it once stood against. It tells us what to wear, what to do, and even what to think. What we need to realize is that there are big corporations behind the media, operating in pure self interest.

We as a generation are losing out majorly on these priceless things. Are we today listening to music that we really take after inside, or are we blasting all the so called “cool” music for our friends to hear and be impressed? Today art and culture has moved far away from its element. And it will not be easy to correct it, if at all it is possible. I feel that one big reason for this is the way we are raised, in the sense that we are compartmentalized, in our minds, the nature of what constitutes art, and what constitutes Science.

Where is the real creativity? Where is the real art, and the real culture? Most real artists and musicians today who are in it purely for the love of what they do, live as hermits, and stay away from the media as much as possible. It should be interesting to note that Mozart died in poverty, and was appreciated well only much after his time. We are not only corrupting the true nature of art with all this hype and materialism, we are also scaring away pure hearted talent.

At this point, dear reader, I would like to ask you, that as a consequence, is the human being becoming extinct. In our greed and thirst, are we reducing ourselves to animals? Art, and culture, in their true sense, is what makes us human. It is deeply tied with morality, philosophy, and science as well. And in that light, I feel we are becoming extinct. We are losing our morality, and our humanity. We are dying out as prey to the corporate money making monster, or even worse being transformed into one of them.

Believe me, soon the day will come, when non-conformism becomes the next big thing. The next cool thing everyone tries to do. Perhaps that day is already here. We must realize that there is nothing that will stop this corporate machine except our own hearts and minds. And to restore our humanity, we must begin using them once again.

So where are we all headed? I don’t know, but I implore you to think a little deeply, the next time you do something cause its “cool”.

Image courtesy: http://www.indian-art.net/indian-art/madhubani-art-paintings-india.html

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Swati Nitin Gupta

Hi Alex,

Good points raised.

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