Art Is Not Just For The Rich
That’s right, art isn’t just for the mega rich. Art is for the everyman. Art is everyman. The enjoyment, the appreciation and the commentary of art is not and should not be reserved just for the wealthy. Since the dawn of man art has been an important medium. Art tells stories it is a form of communication. Art tells us who we are and where we came from.
Since the days cavemen were painting pictures of mammoths and hunters on the walls of caves, man has used art to communicate.
Is art as important now as it was in ancient times? Yes, and here’s why…
Art Is A Social Barometer
Banksy is perhaps one of the most well known artists of our time. An excellent demonstration of the power of art on public perception and feelings about current events. Described by Wikipedia as a “political activist” whenever a Banksy’s work pops up somewhere the whole nation stops and takes notice.
Through his art Banksy has made public statements about his views on the state of conditions of migrants living in the “Jungle” in Calais, the violence in the Gaza Strip and the child abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. Each piece of work a profound and unflinching statement about the state of our society.
Art Can Drive Change
Art can make people stop in their tracks. It can take your breath away with its beauty or the feelings of despair it inspires. Art can inspire people to care where words, previously may not have moved them.
‘Washed Up’ by artist Alejandro Duran is a collection of trash and debris brought together to form installations. The artist walked along Mexico’s coastline collecting pieces of rubbish that had washed up on the shore. The artist then turned this into a series of installations to draw attention to the issue of ocean pollution and raise a wider awareness about environmental problems globally.
British artist Katrina Slack creates sculptures from fishing gear that has been left in the sea or washed up on beaches, in support of the Sea Change campaign. Slack’s sculptures are a shocking visual representation of the effect of the fishing industry on marine wildlife.
It has been predicted that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. Artists are able to bring to our attention things that we would otherwise be ignorant of or able to ignore.
A five minute google search would thrown up at least a dozen examples of different artists across the world working hard to bring to our attention the many environmental challenges we are now facing.
An Historical Record
Without art, it is fair to say that we would not know who we are or where we come from.
Every nation has a rich catalogue of artistic records pertaining to its cultural ancestry. One of the oldest recorded written languages, the Egyptians used pictorial symbols to record their day to day lives and their important cultural and historical events. Fast forward to the Eleventh Century and the Bayeux Tapestry is an artist’s rendering of one of the most important events in British history, the Battle of Hastings.
If we want to know about society during the industrial revolution in Britain we have to look no further than the unglamorous and gritty depictions brought to us by LS Lowry. Andy Warhol dragged us kicking and screaming through the chaos of the 60’s and 70’s and the rapid societal changes that were taking place.
This brings us back to Banksy, whose artworks will leave an unapologetic record for our generations to judge us.
In conclusion, art is for and about all of us. Art tells us who we are and where we’ve been. Art touches the mind and the soul, it can move us to do great things and make great changes. Art tells amazing stories. If you think art isn’t for you, it may be time to think again.