Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for the ‘Revolution’ Category

Sign of the Times…

purple and black labeled bottle

Photo:  Markus Spiske

Okay, so… how to change the world…solution

I’ve been thinking about ways to change society.  I know, I know, it won’t be easy but that doesn’t mean we cant do it.  As a people we can’t believe that anything is possible and then say that changing what we do, isn’t, right?

So, here’s what I think…we change the world through creativity…through art. Here’s how we do it.  We place art at the top of the pyramid.  We make art important.  We talk about it, look at it, write about it, and most of all…we DO it…we MAKE it.  We support art in every way possible.  We don’t make it “commonplace,” we make it an exciting,  an ever changing part of our lives.  We teach each other, we work together, we create beauty.  Yes, we create beauty where there is coldness and ugliness.  We make our world a NEW expression of what we can be, what we are.  We show that beauty lives within us but has been killed by the people in power who want us to exist surrounded by mental blank cement walls.

Brought up with art, seeing it and making it, children will enter schools where art classes are given twice a day.  Pottery, writing, painting, singing, dancing, weaving…EVERY kind of art possible, so kids can find their own way.  We make art the most important thing there is. Self expression, bookmaking, poetry, photography, flower arranging, gardening, etching, street art, whatever they need or want.  We encourage art in all of its forms, everywhere.  Yarn bombing, stone work, music, all of it.

Sports will be the first thing dropped if money in school becomes an issue.  Art will reign.  Teachers will encourage students to find their own path, being there only there to answer questions, make suggestions, and teach what someone wants to learn.  Schools will be filled with creativity, not memorized, useless information that indoctrinates them to fit into  dying system that leaves them depressed and poor, mere cogs on a grinding factory line where their light has been extinguished.

It all starts at the beginning…parents, schools.  “Artists make lousy slaves,”  I wear that button.  Art will and can save the world, IF we can make the necessary changes.  If we can demand that art, which is the heart and soul of every living being, if not killed from the start, can free us.

Artists think differently, see differently, they live in a different world.  Their brains never stop creating and that’s what we need to bring out in people, if we want to be who we truly are.

If you’re thinking you aren’t an artist, that’s only because that part of you was put to sleep a long time ago.  It wasn’t allowed to flourish.  You don’t have to be Renoir, you just have to be you.  Whatever your art…you will show up in it.  You can’t help but show up because your art is who you are.  Even a line drawing, or a two line poem will come from inside  of you and the more you do whatever your art is, the better you will get.

I know some people will never participate but the majority will.  Art BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER.  Art heals, as much as it tells the TRUTH.  Art reaches other people on many levels and there’s always a response.

It’s not love that will save the world.  No one even knows what love means and love can be violent and deadly.  Love is the problem, as far as I’m concerned, not the solution.  But ART, art can do what nothing else does.  It can change us for the better.

Here’s what I think:

  1.  We have to redefine what art is and not listen to paid off critics and money makers
  2.  We have to change our attitude toward art and see it as IMPORTANT TO OUR LIVES, as well as a WAY OF LIFE
  3. We have to allow children to be artistic and encourage them in their efforts by making supplies available
  4. We have to change the school system.  Kids should study artists instead of murderers who kill others to win unjust wars.  Art should be as important as reading, writing and math.  The only civics classes taught should be how to overthrow existing governments if they get out of hand.
  5. When something wonderful happens, an impromptu show or gathering of students should take place, so the poem can be read and heard, or the dance seen.  Painters and poets are a team and fit together perfectly.
  6. Comic book art and the reading of comics, should be considered worthy of attention
  7. Boredom should be eliminated completely
  8. Kids should teach other kids, with an adult learning from them.
  9. We need to teach freedom of self expression
  10.  There should be a darkroom in every school for photographers. Photographers can work closely with all of the artists when it comes time to show their art.  Printers as well, because in reality ALL LIFE IS ART and when artists work together, that’s a revolution.
  11. Get children involved with artists from all over the worlds (in classrooms) and see what new and inventive things are taking place elsewhere.

I think this is the way to start a true revolution.  We can do it now.  Start with your kids and go to your school and ask for changes.  Offer YOUR time to teach your child’s class about a particular artist.  Do anything you can to bring about positive, artistic, change.  I think this is one way we can have a peaceful (at least on our part) world wide revolution.


Post script

Years ago, when my kids were young, I volunteered to go with my son’s class to the Art Institute.  I didn’t know any of the other mom’s who went.  We got there and the volunteer mom’s huddled together and chatted.  I didn’t get that.  So, I started telling the kids about the artists, what their lives were like, how Rodin married his wife on his deathbed, just before he died, about Picasso’s blue period, about Van Gogh.  I answered their questions, such as, “Why were women so fat and why would they paint fat women?”  Sigh.  I had all the kids around me, listening and asking questions.  They were interested, they were focused.

Look, I know very little about art.  Really, pretty much nothing at all but I saw the kids respond to what I did know.  They weren’t just wandering through an art gallery, they were looking at Vincent and asking about the bandage wrapped around his head.  I told them that story.  I told them how his younger brother died and he was given his dead brother’s name when he was born. How his mom never got over the loss of that child and how Vincent was treated because of it.  How he looked at his brother’s headstone everyday, in the back yard cemetery.   They studied his picture carefully and kept asking questions.

EDUCATION NEEDS TO BE INTERESTING OR IT’S WORTHLESS IN THE LONG RUN. The interesting part needs to be what interests the people who are learning.  Not what you WANT THEM THE LEARN  but WHAT THEY WANT TO KNOW.

No stories, no interest.  “Those are all dots?” they asked.  None of the other mothers said a word, they  just kept standing to the side talking among themselves.  The kids were still asking questions on the bus, on the way back to school, and I was still talking about Theo and a lot of other things.

Kids want to know things but they don’t know what to ask until the world opens up to them.  We DENY children an exciting and honest education by shoving boring and useless things down their throats every single day, which is the true purpose of education in our culture.  To keep people from learning and wanting to continue learning.  

I am forever grateful to the teachers who taught me to read.  I can never thank them enough.  The same goes for writing.  Admittedly, I only learned what I wanted, or needed to learn, but I’m okay with that.  I couldn’t digram a sentence if my life depended on it and fortunately, THAT HAS NEVER COME UP once in my entire life.  See, that’s what I’m trying to say.  We don’t need to know everything, we need to know what we can use to become who we are.  That’s what we need to teach.  We need to allow creativity to BREATH AND BLOSSOM.

Why do you think you’ve heard people say, “You can’t make a living with art?”  It’s because ART IS A DANGEROUS THING and scares the establishment to death.

THAT’S a revolution.  From that beginning, things can grow.


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