“It lies in the power of art to honour the elusive but real value of ordinary life. It may teach us to be more just towards ourselves as we endeavour to make the best of our circumstances: a job we do not always love, the imperfections of age, our frustrated ambitions and our attempts to stay loyal to irritable but loved families. Art can do the opposite of glamourise the unattainable; it can reawaken us to the genuine merit of life as we’re forced to lead it. It is advertising for the things we really need.” – The Book of Life
Every day we are bombarded with images that expose the harsh realities and verisimilitudes of the world and global societies. We see it on TV, in the paper, and on our everyday social media feeds.We are constantly inundated with overwhelming emotion and despondency. But while we feel noble compassion and empathy, more than anything, we feel powerless. We assume that our place in the world and society hasn’t afforded us the luxury to go beyond our limitations.
Creativity Takes Courage — Henri Matisse
What we neglect to recognize is that our powers lie in these emotions. Through your fear, outrage or even consent, your connection to your senses makes your unbounded presence felt. And it is within these images that we expose ourselves to that we innately discover how to behave and perform. These universal images that come to us as pictures, symbols, words and other art forms, have the capacity to further define us; never dictating how we should react but rather, evoking and cultivating our genuine intentions and sentiments.
Giving a voice to the politically and socially disenfranchised, art plays the vital role of creating social change by exposing propaganda and censorship of the ruling power base. Through its creative imagination and ingenious rebirth, art tells a story that has the power to alter and positively influence people’s perspectives and opinions while also instilling values that benefit all, no matter how our backgrounds or beliefs may differ.
A Universal Language
When we experience a work of art through a painting, a photograph, video, film, a poem, plays, or a song, we discover that we are moved and changed. When we enable the messages to reach us, we evolve. We often take for granted how much in every day of our lifewe encounter and interact with art in some form. We choose the songs that are most relevant to our current mood, at home and on the way to work We quote the words we hear and read and they become our life mantra. We constantly inspire one another creatively by sharing images of beauty, hope and optimism, contributing to the collective powers that bring forward positive reform.
In a 2013 essay entitled “Change the Culture, Change the World,” artist Favianna Rodriguez who co-founded the immigrant rights organization Culture Strike explains it this way: “You may attend a rally or vote, but you also read books, listen to music, engage with visual art, turn on the radio and create your identity through culture. Artists are central, not peripheral, to social change. To have the movements that make the wave, you need cultural workers.”
When was the last time you were changed by art? Were you so moved or angered by it that you had to share or hold on to it? We at ARTDEX know exactly how that feels. We are a community of artists, art lovers, collectors, curators and all art professionals and enthusiasts. We can give you a space to connect with like-minded peers worldwide so that we may continue sharing stories of how art has spoken to us and molded us.