“This I Believe”
I believe art is truly in the eye of the beholder.
As a child raised amongst a modern art world, the best art I have ever seen is that of things resembling a lifestyle of mine, or things I can relate to. They were always what caught my attention most, or things that i was most interested in. I have always thought it to be because they were things that were familiar with or used to seeing or maybe even more so that it was art that I could compare and contrast with real life objects and ideas. Ideas resembling a lifestyle of mine, or ideas I could relate to.
There are many art forms that people consider as anything but. Much like graffiti. Where people have preconceived beliefs of these acts being more of a destructive nature rather than productive. Where the supposed “defacing” of an ugly grey or brown wall is caused by beautiful colours in a clean and orderly fashion painted upon it. Which in my belief is ironically a misconstrued piece of art meant to brighten or liven the area up, or maybe break away from the traditional, somewhat plain way of life.
I feel common thinking of graffiti artists is that the colours in any style be it abstract or plain as day words is more appealing and refreshing to the eye than a dirty burned down building. Though it was that fact in particular that helped motivate me to draw more, and then further paint. Where I grew up, alleys and ditches were nothing beautiful to start with, and often inhabited by the homeless. And in this reason of thinking, if they don’t care enough to help the homeless, why will they care enough to stop the vandals painting where they sleep? The police mentality is that the graffiti brings the crime to the areas by making it look like a dangerous neighbourhood. As I once was told by an officer who was detaining my for painting in an underground, brown, drainage tunnel that was far from any civilization. Quite an incomprehensible way of thinking for me to grasp onto.
Not only did it also probably take more time and resources for the city to apprehend me, than the so called damage was really worth, it motivated me to paint more. It was definitely forty hours of community service spent thinking about how much more I would rather be painting. Especially after having a judge tell me my art was not art, but on the contrary “an ugly mess”, without even having seen my piece completed.
But this was an opinionated statement. A philosophical statement and argument at that. For what other people in the world of graffiti art might have called a masterpiece, he so rudely dismissed it as vandalism. Are we to tell people that don’t play the music that we don’t prefer, they are not musicians? Are we to tell what might be the next Picasso that because we don’t see things the way he sees them, they are not beautiful? I think not. We let the artist decide what is art, as we let the viewer or listener to interpret it as to how they want. As we let the critics express their opinions. Art is for the artist.
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