Who Creates Art?

Who Creates Art? blog illustration of Sumi-e painting of purple flowers on branch

Art stimulates our imagination, sense of discovery and ability to express a feeling or thought in communicating with others. Art is a way of connecting with that inner quiet space, stillness. 

That space is not reserved for artists alone. That stillness is the essence of all beings. A walk in the forest, a deep breath, a sunset…. all remind us of that space. So is it the object or the ability to connect to it from that quiet place which defines it as art? Does the artist create art, or does the viewer create art? I would say that if one is centered, connected with their soul, one would see art in practically everything, as everything is an expression of somebody’s creativity or creativity of the collective and especially of nature. An artist’s job is to facilitate that connection.

So the art is created by both the artist, with his/her creativity, technical and theoretical knowledge, and the viewer, who with his/her ability to quiet the mind, sees the intent.

 

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DA | 2012-09-18 03:14:52

Lanier suggests that art is in the eye of beholder, that a person has the right to "see artistic merit" in something that was not created by a person's intention.

That is an interpretation that many find useful, and it has its merit.

I do think, though, that it doesn't quite connect to the notion of creativity as initiator, as opposed to creative eyes in response. Creativity can create something that did not previously exist, whereas observing something and seeing art in it is responding to something that already exists, even if there's no concept of creative acknowledgement until someone acknowledges it, which is, admittedly, still a human endeavour.

It is difficult not to factor Judeo-Christian philosophy into a discussion of "creativity" because of the notion of being made "in the image of a creator" who "made the world out of things which did not previously exist."

One of my favourite artists, Barnett Newman, didn't want to just paint copies of things that exists (bowls of fruit, vases of flowers), nor did he want people to look at his work and ask "what is it?" implying it should be recognizable as a representation of something they already know. His Onement series challenges viewers to see something new, something they've never seen before and answer that question with "it is what it is, it is it." He wanted to creatively create something that celebrates his being made in the image of a creator of originality.

A free sample chapter of my upcoming book "The Essential Artist" looks at contemporary artists from Spain (Dali, Picasso) and Canada (Group of Seven) to capture in each a drive to create, to be original, as expressions of their own unique views and ideas about the world in which they lived. http://www.oughtthoughts.com/p/the-essential-artist.html





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