True art is a gateway to the divine. (conversation with Justin Parker)
True art opens existence (Martin Heidegger, the origins of art).
Heidegger describes how the shoes of Van Gogh open the existence of the worker who has just put off the shoes. The worn out state tells about his poverty, the bit of sand and straw that he has just returned from the field. We start to understand his world, his experience of time and space. This piece of art also opens our existence as we realise how we are able to step into someone else’s shoes and join another world. We can change. We are not determined by our situation. That’s a fundamental lesson about our existence. The term is etymologically derived from ek-sistere, standing out. We stand where we are now, but a piece of us stands outside this place as we can change, we can change shoes, step into someone else’s world and change direction in our life. A true piece of art reminds us of this freedom, it gives that wider perspective on life.
My art starts with a world that wants to be opened. Listen to interviews with passionate artists and you will hear the same: we are sensitive to the call of the world that wants us to open them for ourselves as artist, and for the audience. This transcends traditional philosophies of art which start with the artist who wants to communicate something or the audience who projects their own interpretations in the piece of work.
A true piece of art opens existence where existence was closed before. It is a breach in the world as we knew it before. Where existence is opened in a true piece of art, there is apparently an urgency in the world in which we live. Like Monet’s transition to impressionism may be seen as a response to the closed stylised world view of his Victorian era. Like surrealism expressed the underbelly that would spit out two world wars in the same era.
There are many people filling the space in museums and art galleries, but there are few true artists who open existence. I am always in search of a black hole in my universe, when I am going to museums and galleries. I want to be opened to new worlds and to the possibilities I have in life. Unfortunately too many pieces of art do not open existence and even put extra locks on the gates to the other worlds: they confirm our existing world and our existing ways of making art. Conventialism is worse than making no art at all, as it obstructs people to see more than there is here and now. Conventialism is utterly unethical.
A true piece of art is not a piece, but it is an art movement. Every true piece of art has its own art movement. It moves us into different worlds and wider perspectives. It also motivates us, like the word motivation is etymologically derived from movere, to move. True art motivates us in life. Conventional art though puts us in a standstill, makes us standing and not out-standing.
True art invites us to be artists in life, to be opening existence all the time. Opening my own existence and the existence of others. True artists of life are moving continuously as they are moved by a world bigger than themselves. They move others, and they set the worlds around them in movement. They open existence for others and for themselves, and they sketch future movements of art, of life for others. True art of life is a lifestyle of continuous opening of new worlds, like the phoenix and the ganeesha.
The true art of life is divine, because it opens existence. Do you dare to be an artist of life and taste the divine?