Monday, July 2, 2007

What art is really for

I am feeling the need to create some art quilts that convey my opinions on weightier issues. “The Bluest Eye” does this (racism, and my belief that we are all the same on the inside), and so does “Harbinger's Hope” (desecration of trees, destruction of nature to suit mans' whims). (There are photos of these quilts in previous postings.) I'm very opinionated, so I'm sure I won't run out of issues to make quilts about! :) I also think that there should be more to art than pretty pictures. Of course, I have nothing against pretty. Pretty art of pretty things (flowers, children, landscapes) shows our adoration of our world and all creation. And that is a good thing.

But I also think it is a mistake to ignore the world's problems in my art. What kind of art about the war in Iraq would move people today the way Pablo Picasso's “Guernica” did about the horrors of the civil war in Spain in 1937?

“Shouldn't art just stick to what it does best, the delivery of pleasure, and forget about being a paintbrush warrior? Or is it, when the bombs are dropping, that we find out what art is really for?”
– Simon Schama, scholar and writer,
on the PBS Series Simon Schama's Power of Art