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Wednesday Feb 01, 2012

The Enemy of Art

aussie dreams
Aussie Dreams

Someone posted a question in the guest book, which needs fixing—leaving my name as the sender.

“Dear Eden,

“At which point can/should the artist’s true voice be free of conditioning and culture—In Australian Aboriginal language, there are many words equivalent to ‘we’ but no word to say ‘I’. The tribe is all there is, and tradition is law. Their artistic inspiration is what they call ‘my (my tribe’s) dreaming’ yet Australian contemporary Aboriginal Art is considered the only real original ‘art movement’ since the 80’s. Any thoughts?”

My response:

When an outsider inquired as to why the Aboriginal man made cave art, he replied: “I don’t make art … the hand spirit makes art.”

The Aboriginal man’s answer implies that his art is born out of spirit, not ego.

If there is no word for ‘I’ in the lexicon, then each person must have a name to distinguish one from another.

Tradition and culture are not the enemy. Mindless tradition and culture are the culprits. Following tradition means repetition. Breaking free from the past demands courage and a vision. Then, no longer entrapped by the opinion of others, the artist creates new work, evolved work, unique work.

“Australian contemporary Aboriginal Art is considered the only real original ‘art movement’ since the 80’s.”

Who says so?

Art is not about trends, movements, fashion, or wavering tastes.

Art isn’t an ‘ism’. All the ‘isms’ that define the various art movements over the years have nothing to do with the creation of art. Who will be the next groundbreaking artist? This isn’t up to the artist who does what he does. There is only one breakthrough in art of any value to the artist, and that is truth.