Monday, April 13, 2015

Art That Runs Away With Itself

"Art is so good for me," she said.
"Art is good for all of us," he replied. "Some of us just don't realize it."


For the past decade, street artist Banksy has been creating art that transcends ownership. Working in the dark hours of the night and in the secrets of personal anonymity, Banksy has created a following through art that challenges social norms and provide commentary that ranges from hilarious to loudly contentious. 

After leaving these masterpieces on the streets, they no longer belong to the artist. Tagged, stolen, and protected, these pieces are scattered into the fateful hands of the people who are the fastest and the richest. In the best scenarios, the art is preserved for people to experience. In the most desperate, the pieces are removed from the streets and sold for more money than is even healthy to think about spending on any one item.

The Luxury Spot

Andy Goldsworthy's art worked in a similar fashion, though his medium belonged to the natural world. Beautiful displays of creativity and soul were crafted from nature, only to be left to fade, migrate, and be returned to that which they originally belonged. The rocks, leaves, and water he used didn't belong to him, he just rearranged them in ways that complemented their beauty. And then he walked away, letting the fate of his art be that of the natural forces.

Over the last three weeks I have been purposely placing myself in and around as much art as possible. Beautiful, messy, weird, confusing, soulful art. Art that makes me uncomfortable. Art that makes my eyes squint and eyebrows fold forward. Art that is so stunning I can't breathe. Art that brings tears. Art that is screamed, sculpted, scripted, and scrawled across all mediums. Art that is unexpected.

Container Park, Fremont Las Vegas

In Houston, I was slapped by John Flower's 8 Ohms. I entered a room that held the most frightening and haunting display I have ever experienced. Eight cassette plays activated by a motion sensor. As I entered, each player clicked on, each  playing a different pitch. When I stood across the room, the pitches matched in harmony with one another. When a player was approached, the pitch warped to create a sound that competed, rather than complemented, the others. My body controlled the art -- more than that, it ruined the harmony that existed without my presence. Though without me there was no sound at all...

(You can view a haunting video HERE)

When I stand in front of a piece of art it no longer belongs to artist or the highest bidder. In that moment it belongs to me and my heart. 

The most truthful art runs away with itself. The most powerful art allows us to hitch a ride for a minute.

What are you creating? Are you letting it run free? 

Maybe you should.

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