Can art flourish and still be appreciated? It is somewhat of a ponderous question. Dimensions exist between the spaces of the words, which seem to force the asker to consider more questions. What does one mean by art? In what ways has art flourished? Does flourishing distill the popular appreciation of art or the artist?
To be honest, I have no clue. I could argue that art has fell prey to dilution. I could blame democracy and the massive growth of the human population ever since the black plague. It is as if every person with even a slight inclination towards the arts believes he or she is an artist. I wrote several poems in middle school, and I’m convinced I’m a poet. I know a girl with an iPhone who takes really thoughtful photographs of her pug, Santiago. She absolutely considers herself a photographer.
All these questions because I find it difficult that I am forced to concede an unpleasant truth. There are way too many singers, writers, painters, musicians, dancers, and taxidermists in this world for me to outshine. How can I even consider achieving, let alone dream of becoming, a world-reknown taxidermist? How I ask you!?
It is obvious I cannot change things. I don’t have a plethora of plague-ridden hamsters to set loose on mankind, and I can’t realistically compete within every art field. After all, I am a terrible dancer and I hardly know how to properly stuff a dead animal. All that is left to this struggling artist’s heart is the dream.
I can dream, like so many others dream, to one day have something about me remembered. I can dream that one day I will write a story or capture an image or introduce an idea that changes and influences the thoughts of people. Dreaming, at least, may lead to inspiration and action.
But art isn’t just a means to express the individual’s dream. Yes, the majority of these blog posts flow from my own experiences and end up as expressions of my opinions. Yet, even within the biased nature of these posts, I hope to share some truth that may serve another person. I don’t quite know how writing a piece on how I wish I was the only great writer of my generation helps, but if I learned anything from Faulkner or Joyce it is to spew and spew (what they would call a stream of their consciousness) until a great gush of truth pours over you and into the world.
So I may never be a great writer. After all, I have my fair number of competitors to beat before I even get noticed. Still, a twenty-two year old from a town in Pennsylvania writes and shares stories that may be read by someone somewhere else. That someone might be thinking about this exact question of succeeding or failing at art. Humans! We are a strange and fascinating bunch.
That is why, though there is a ridiculous amount of people who believe themselves to be artists, I encourage, though I am hesitant to celebrate, all of those ridiculous people. Only some art reaches the heights of mankind’s appreciation. When all is said and done, that is okay with me. The truth is there will always be hundreds of millions of people creating new and strange and beautiful and questionable and surprising art. Man isn’t simply by nature homo politicus. Even without society, man would still dream and create.
Keep on keeping on,