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.

  1. Avatar of Duwain Marnitz
    Duwain Marnitz says

    Art is many things and everything. Every individual , society and culture has their own art, a mother creates, a farmer creates, and nature creates. As do the artists, writers, bloggers, filmographers and others where is the line drawn? For every one art is different and unigue. Loved your creatively inspiring article.

  2. Avatar of Sylvia
    Sylvia says

    I disagree with the statement that art analyzes life rather than identifies with it. I agree that art analyzes life, but art is also intertwined with life. It is intimately involved with life. It’s not just a step back away from life in order to provide a snapshot of life, but it’s a communication about what’s happenning or what’s existing, shouted out from the midst of it. It’s like the screams of a drowning person while he or she is drowning, or the cries of a lover during orgasm, or the laughter of a child running on the playground. It is a portrait, but not exctly a still-life. It pauses, but it doesn’t stand still. It may freeze-frame for a moment, but it hurls you back into the flow of living with a slightly altered view of life. I could go on all day. Art is essential to the inner life if not the outer life.

  3. Avatar of Andrew Sacks
    Andrew Sacks says

    Barbara, thank you for posting and raising fascinating questions.

  4. Avatar of Sohbet
    Sohbet says

    very very nice

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