323: Anti-advertising

–WHY is art important? This is a question even artists, who should appreciate art the most, have trouble answering. When people choose to trivialize the importance of art, they cite ideas like no poem ever stopped a war or other statements that minimize the possibility of significance.

But perhaps solutions come much earlier in the process of human development. I have a hypothesis, as yet unproven, that no one who ever experienced a creative flow state could ever be content with a life of sloth and waste.

But if art is so potentially transformative why are so many people inured to the benefits of art? The book The End of Advertising by Andrew Essex, predicts the extinction of pop-up ads, the end of incessant jabbering of pre-Youtube spiels, the demise of Facebook pics of fungally overwhelmed toenails, and other eye-lacerating visual effluvia polluting our daily visual experience. With so many supposedly creative people generating so much garbage you have to ask what good does the uglification of our experience accomplish? Such intrusion is called advertising. And according to advertisers, and the people who pay for it, it achieves a great deal. Contemplate that reality for a moment.

Now think of art as anti-advertising. Instead of assaulting your eye and irritating you with incessant visual noise you see images that refresh you. You see images that stimulate your subconscious into releasing its hidden wonders. Your vision is filled with color, movement, and shapes that soothe yet spur you to think beyond your normal capacity. Those images are what we call art.

When we see art as an antidote to our over-stimulated and often irrational world, we understand the value of art. When we see art as islands of meaning, we coalesce meaning within ourselves. When we see art as a counterbalance to the too-muchness of 21st-century life, we begin to understand how a life without art is a diminished life. Choose to live a full, expansive life. Choose art.

Brad Teare –April 2017

Spires of Ben Lomond, (above), 36″ x 36″, acrylic on canvas, available at Anthony’s Fine Art

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Updated: 12th July 2024
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