by Andy Dudas-
The thought of being forgotten is not a pleasant one. To imagine that your place in the universe ultimately turned out to be nothing more than a headstone with “UNKNOWN” engraved(and that word suddenly makes so much more sense to me-speaking of a headstone/grave marker and the text is enGRAVED…interesting) on it makes one wonder if our daily activities are worth a damn.
Many people of financial means have left their mark on the world through philanthropic gifts and donations. Then there are those not as monetarily fortunate but gifted in other ways whose actions or words have imprinted on society. There are artists, some not recognized for their work for generations, who never have the joy of fulfillment as to how their Art is received.
But is that what Art is about? Is it about how a creator’s work is received or is it how does the creator view their own work? Does the ‘starving artist’ who succumbs to taking a job to ‘pay the bills’ become less of an Artist? Does a graphic designer have any less talent than that of one who only paints portraits? Does the kid on a street corner who has turned a few plastic buckets into a drum set trying to earn a few bucks have any less talent than someone with a performance degree in percussion?
Like so many things in life, the answers are not concretely YES or NO. Like so many things in life, the answers are usually a very gray, ‘SOMETIMES.’ The beholder’s opinion of beauty is perhaps the most uniquely personal piece of our DNA. More so than our fingerprints(that have been scientifically proven to not be as unique as once thought-remember how they told us that all snowflakes are different?), having something that is personally ours and ours alone is something to which we cannot be told we are wrong.
Having a view about something before having all of the facts, one can have a misinformed opinion. Not necessarily wrong, but certainly not the most reliable. Once you have all the facts, then you are legitimately able to form an opinion. But Art? Most times, its either you like it…or you don’t.
There are no facts to gather. There is no research to be conducted. Sure, you could spend years learning of Da Vinci’s personal life, what his influence’s may have been, or compare his works to his period counterparts…in the end, the original question is a very simple one…do you like it? And sometimes an answer of yes or no is enough.
In the way that people spend years becoming a Sommelier or a master blacksmith, there are a great many who spend a lifetime chasing down the intricacies of the how, why, where, and when of a particular piece of Art, but in the end, the what is the simplest form of Art appreciation. Do you like it?
This is in no way intended to take away from the lifetime put into an Art Historian’s endeavors in an effort to gain a higher understanding and appreciation of Art, quite the contrary. The easiest and simplest of all the questions concerning Art is, do you like it? That is only the first question. It’s the next question that broadens our view. It’s the second and third questions that support our answer to the first. The answers and questions that can be found only after a lifetime of searching are, in and of themselves a form of Art.
So where does all of this lead us? Each of us have an appreciation for and of Art that is unique. There is no one piece of Art or Artist that is universally loved or despised. But then again, I think we can all agree Sammy Davis Jr. was one hell of guy, right? But if all of us have our own views of Art, is there a point to discuss such things at length when we know the conversation will end up right back where we started? Of course. It starts the conversation about Art. Which gets us sharing our Art. Which in turn will bring us closer together. Finding out what a person really likes, getting to know what a person is really into…find that out, take an interest in that and you will have a friend for life. And in some cases, a spouse.
Find what you bring to life other than exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide. Do more than exist. Aspire. Find that thing that makes you tick and live your life with the purpose of making Art rather than always being an observer of it. Take the next step, usually out of your comfort zone, to becoming the person people will be talking about generations after you’re gone. Not for the fame or notoriety, but for the Art. For your Art. Because you found something you so loved that you wanted to share it with someone other than yourself.
Find your Art. If that Art is heavily inspired by someone else’s work…that doesn’t make it any less than if it wasn’t. There is always a new thing out there to be discovered. An old thing waiting to be reborn. Be open to either and both. Focusing on one genre shouldn’t mean you slight others. Find what you like and make it happen. At the risk of sounding like a life coach(but then again is that such a bad thing?) take that step and try something. It’s alway so tempting to say, ‘I can’t do _____‘ without ever actually trying it. Taking the first step is always the scariest. Take that step and find what you have inside of you that no one else ever has or ever will.
Don’t wait for tomorrow. Make it happen today. Choose to do something. Make your Art, find your muse, find your inspiration. Inspire others. Inspire the next generation. Don’t allow yourself to be the next UNKNOWN.
The image used is from an unknown grave at Arlington national Cemetery. It is with the utmost honor and respect we use this image and these words to try and inspire others to make lasting Artistic impressions in our country and our world.
this is the second in our ‘a thousand words‘ series of blogs. The process is simple: choose a photo and write a thousand words.
Andy Dudas 10/30/2017
Andy Dudas has interests varying from painting and singing, to photography and prop making. Pretty much anything that has a creative element. Amateur status in all endeavors, he finds art everywhere he looks. Always seeking his next inspiration.