I seldom write about political turmoil but today is different. We had our Presidential election and many people are happy and a lot of people are sad and scared. I must admit…I am among the scared group.
Why you ask?
Because the door has opened wide for the tolerance of cruel, hateful, senseless acts of violence against those of diverse culture and color, gays, transgender and female.
All this because some Americans believe they are privileged, superior and perhaps even righteous in their raciest beliefs, therefore those who are not within their traditional profile are not accepted in this country.
We, as Americans, are better than this and we must be vigilant to the silent and gradual tolerance of “wrongs accepted as normal”.
In the fall of 2015 the artist Paul Rucker had a show at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Paul Rucker is a Visual Artist, Composer and Musician…he is brilliant. The show was about American history repeating itself over and over again.
One of the exhibits was about the Ku Klux Klan…it is hard to look at this exhibit without realizing the KKK’s terrifying beliefs. The robes for the exhibit were made from patterns of African Kente cloth and camouflage fabric. The vibrant colors and patterns of these uniforms force the horror of racism that happened in our past into the present moment.
This is political art at its best because it educates.
Here is a talk that is fascinating and educational on TedxBerkley by Paul Rucker.
Now the big question…do all artists have to paint in a political manner or can art be beautiful just for beauty’s sake. There are those who think all great paintings are political. Novelist Toni Morrison is often quoted as saying:
All of that art–for-art’s- sake stuff is BS. What are these people talking about? Are you really telling me that Shakespeare and Aeschylus weren’t writing about kings? All good art is political! There is none that isn’t. And the ones that try hard not to be political are political by saying, ‘We love the status quo.’
My answer to this is…yes, she is right but there are numerous levels of political art. Not all political art lacks beauty…just think of the art by the Italian artist Caravaggio.
Beauty nourishes the soul and this is a time we need honest beauty.
Creating is an inside job so Create from your depth