Art is an ever-growing medium that has a vehicle to drive ideologies through many generations. Making others share our beliefs, from religious teachings using paintings, poetry, plays, and storytelling, to war propaganda packaged cheesy fight-for-your-country ads.
The artists, either creating art for themselves or under the command of a stronger governing body (like during the eve of romanticism or renaissance) have used this medium to either show themselves to the world, or the world to itself. One thing to note is that art reflects prevailing situations in its society, and thus, can help give you an idea of what life was like in that time period. From the soulful blues created by the African Americans in the 70s to even the cave paintings of the Paleolithic era.
In today’s society. There is a split in opinion for the importance of art and artists. While some hold artists in high reverence, seeing them as gods that have all the answers to the issues of life, others see artists as a waste of space and resources as they contribute nothing to the progress of society, in their opinion.
Personally, I believe in the importance of art and its creation. I believe we cannot ignore its influence on societal values and experience. Now, the opposing opinions on art I mentioned earlier are two extremes, and there’s a sizeable chunk of people that fall on a middle ground. I am one of such people, and Apollotheyouth is an artist whose work explores this middle ground.
The belief that art carries the answer to all problems embedded in our society is not only detrimental to society but also to art itself. It puts an unrealistic expectation on artists, forcing them to carry the weight of saving the world. Even though they can’t.
We all have different perspectives on various things, based on the influence of our childhoods and our life experiences.
Putting that level of pressure and importance on artists might lead them to the conclusion that their perspectives are supreme and it is their duty to shove it all down our throats.
While their intentions might be good, the results can be disastrous (like the unholy abomination that is the sweet sixteen novels… 101.. I just hate that book)
Looking through art history. You’ll see traces of this mindset in different art.
But there’s something different about this millennial era. Uncertainty.
The world is one that has encountered change at an unbelievably fast rate. This ranges from the rapidly dilapidating state of the planet’s health to financial systems crumbling before our very eyes.
It has become more obvious that art doesn’t have these answers, but can either make us forget issues or live through them. There are still art enthusiasts and artists that believe we can find the answer to everything in artistic expression, but that’s not what I want to talk about.
Read Part II
“The belief that art carries the answer to all problems embedded in our society is not only detrimental to society but also to art itself. It puts an unrealistic expectation on artists, forcing them to carry the weight of saving the world. Even though they can’t.”— Ehiorobo Derek