Monday, August 03, 2009

Summer art and some aren't

Rory Parks, 2003

There is the lie, and then there is the edge, and it's a long way down. I heard the question posed at a UK camp for kids on the news. They were debating the tale about the emperor's new clothes, one I had just brought up to my own children the day before. The real question was whether there were some lies that if they worked for everyone were therefore good/ok? I wish I had heard the outcome.

My own narrow point of view is that it is always better to go with the truth. Of course that could be the biggest lie of all. And what about art? I just spent a week with my nephew who as an aspiring architect and designer thinks that art is total BS. He didn't say it in so many words, but he didn't have to. Is he intimidated by something he doesn't understand? Of course. But that doesn't mean he's wrong.

The funny thing about the way I think is that art is one of the few things that isn't BS. It is just what it is, and isn't trying to sell you anything. You just take it or leave it for a long as you like.

But who am I kidding? Maybe I have always loved art because I couldn't handle the plain old truth. I need something beautiful to make the truth easier to swallow. I needed my rose colored glasses.

Lately it seems that very soon we are all going to be fighting for our lives. Movies tell us so. The news tells us so. Even books are sending this message more and more. We seem on the brink of some sort of apocalypse if you would believe all of this stuff. It scares me for the kids. I thought Obama would bring peace and a return to culture and learning but it seems that could be worse than Bush, if that is possible, that it will be even more about power. Art will have very little place in a world where we are fighting for our lives.

During WWII my father did not fight like both my uncles. He designed anti-aircraft artillary in Cambridge, MA, while at Harvard. He was and still is a dove, and although he is a Republican, I believe him. But we weren't fighting for our lives. When that happens, do we abandon art, or embrace it even more? For myself, I would be fine with that, but not if my children were in danger. I'm ok with family first. I always knew that I would be an artist, and I always thought that would mean that I couldn't have a family. Now that I do, I wonder if I can really be an artist; sometimes in the face of my family, art seems like total BS, and the opposite is never true. I've always said that it was all about love and art; in that order. Now maybe I think that it is all about love, and that if art can live with that, then I can live with art.

-- Post From My iPhone

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