The Importance of Being an Artist in Today's Modern World
by Lori McNee
This post is by guest author, Lori McNee. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
After watching the movies, 'Avatar' and 'How to Train Your Dragon' I was amazed at the artistic advancement in Computer Arts. It got me thinking about the possible irrelevance of Art in this computer driven day and age.
On a number of occasions, I have heard people speak of this: Are we as artists a dying breed? Will we, as 'Fine Artists', go the way of the dinosaur?
Personally, I think NOT!
Artists truly are the movers and shakers of the world. The ages demonstrate that artists have been at the forefront of every epic era. Oscar Wilde's famous quote, "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life", illustrates this.
Art has been said to be 'an expression of both hope and despair', which embodies all facets of the human condition. The awe inspiring cathedrals of Europe rose from the ashes of plague, cruelty, and despair. After which, the forward thinking artists of the Renaissance era emerged in times of religious persecution and political chaos.
I believe, the worse things get - the more indispensable Art becomes. As our American economy sags and democracy weakens amid the smothering of our beloved earth, Art will find fertile ground and bloom.
Art, in all its forms, is the universal language. It is the great equalizer and thinking agent. Art reaches across borders and connects the world. Great Art stirs the imagination, causing us to pause, think and reflect. Art allows our minds to escape into childlike wonder. Paintings are windows to the imagination.
Did you know, the act of drawing and creating Art can help us relieve stress? Also, Art improves students in their personal, intellectual, and social development. It can be especially beneficial for children from economically disadvantaged conditions or those who struggle to succeed in school.
Art records the footprint of all peoples, cultures and the world around us...
From prehistoric times, cave dwellers drew and carved on rock walls to record important history.
In biblical times, artists recorded the life and death of Jesus.
The Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greek and Roman artists left us invaluable traces of their culture and our human heritage through their art.
Still life paintings often adorn the interior of ancient Egyptian tombs and Roman walls and record information about the vessels and delicacies that the upper class might have enjoyed.
Lavish tapestries, book-covers in precious metal, ivory, jewels and mosaics help us understand the Dark Ages.
The Renaissance era was lead by visionary artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Raphael and Michaelangelo.
John James Audubon (April 26, 1785 - January 27, 1851) painted, catalogued, and described the many birds of North America. (I know he killed too many while he was at it, though.)
The Impressionists were considered the 'radicals' of their time and broke the rules of academic painting.
Sure, now we have the modern capabilities to record history with a camera. And yes, I loved the movie Avatar. In fact, it gave me a whole new appreciation for the artists in that industry.
However, nothing will replace the feeling of being in the presence of great Art - whether you are at the Louvre Museum or staring at a beloved painting in your living-room.
Computer Art is the newest form of artistic expression, but the silent story of the brushstrokes made by a master's hand or a vessel formed by a primitive artisan will never be obsolete.
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