the art of the matter


Some might say that I have a broad view of what can be considered art. I believe that any expression of human emotion in its purity is art. That purity of heart is what often resonates throughout our communities and reminds us of our connection to each other.

I believe that art is Martin Luther King, Jr., saying "I have a dream," Sojourner Truth saying "Ain't I a woman?" and communities around the nation declaring that "black lives matter." But art is also Handel's Messiah, da Vinci's Mona Lisa, and Michael Jackson's moonwalk.

Art is organically precise and brilliantly erratic. It awakens our senses. But what about the artist?

My theory is that artists live in the instability of their passion. The same thing that enables them to produce such amazing work is what also makes them seem coo-coo at times. For instance, the passion that created Kanye West's Heartless was the same passion that made him interrupt a television special to note that "George Bush doesn't care about black people." The brilliance that Prince used to produce Diamonds and Pearls was the same brilliance invoked to require us all to refer to him by symbol.

All of that passion and brilliance live in the same space, co-conspiring to create something that will disrupt our lives. Something that will pull us from our normal routines and remind us of our humanity. And the artist becomes a slave to their truth in that moment.

I often wonder if artists create out of their fear of implosion rather than a sense of bravery.