What is art? Is it an attitude or a life-style? Or, is it a necessary expression of human experience? Something that can hurt as much as it can heal? How much is personal in artistical expression – and to which limits can an artist’s control over his soul, body and environment be extended? Does the art need to be centered around the artist’s ego, and reflected in the things surrounding her in her life world?
My questions were provoked by a recent visit to a local artist’s studio and home, after I had decided to become more involved in the visual arts, and in the things going on in my neighbourhood, and learn more about painting – something I haven’t tried since school. Maybe that decision was a reaction after I heard some weeks ago about the death of a distant relative – a great painter and wonderful person. I suddenly realized that I had missed the chance to discuss art, life and music (he was also a jazz pianist) with him on the occasions when we have met through the years. It was just the usual social talk, and I always let others ask their naive questions about his pictures, and be content with the obvious answers. There must have been so much more things I could have learned from him. Now I have to learn it on my own (as we all have to, more or less).
So, now I wonder a lot about the mentality of artists, and what they are doing to stay healthy and/or creative. Some work in chaos; others in order. Some live in a mess; other live in a totally aesthetic perfection. My relative was much for order in his studio (and in his entomological collection), but the home decoration (mostly by his artistic wife) was never over-whelmingly perfect; and their focus was not on the methods to get a long and healthy life.
Success can be dangerous, so it takes some modesty and maturity to handle…