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Is Art Real or Not?

W. H. Auden
Wystan Hugh Auden

Is Art Real or Not? 

*  In a 100-day study of English poet, W.H. Auden, I have read many things about what art is and what art is not.
*  The world of art is not real and artists are creative illusionists.
*  Art analyzes life rather than identifies with it.
*  Art reflects the possibility of ordered harmony.
*  Art is a refreshing refuge from the struggle in a chaotic crisis-driven world.
*  Art is a pretend power to infuse into society the order the artist has over artistic materials.
*  Art hopes for Coleridge’s willing suspension of disbelief.
*  Nietzsche said, Art is not enough.
*  The aesthetic mode has limitations.

Art begins conversations and its power in its milieu is unrivaled. Wystan Hugh Auden said ‘Christian art must accommodate both the aesthetic and the ethical.’ Auden also said that ‘no art ever saved one victim of the burning ovens.’

What is the truth? What do you think? I would love to hear from you.

As a painter, a writer, and a poet, I can find truth in all of these statements. In my painting, am I a creative Illusionist at times? In 2008, I painted Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates, orange flags that billowed in New York City’s Central Park from February 12 to February 28, 2005. I not only put into the design The Twin Towers but also ghosts of The Twin Towers.

Why? Because, as a New Yorker, I am still grieving over the loss of New York’s Twin Towers to terrorism, and, as an artist, I have the freedom to my emotions in a composition I create. I painted the beautiful fall foliage in High Rock Park in Saratoga Springs, New York, and, as if the reds, oranges, caramels, browns, yellows, and gold were not enough, I added a line of burning bushes in full flame.

Why? The brilliance of the burning bushes allowed viewers to see the detailed color play of the leaves on the trees.

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