Throughout the annuls of history there has been a succession of empires, kingdoms, republics, democracies, corporations etc, all of different political and religious persuasions that have engaged in violent exploits to further their own selfish cause/s. They have resorted to THE SWORD as the means of convincing any opposition that they mean business. There are of course many arguments to justify the use of the SWORD throughout history. By the sword I mean any weapon that is used to subdue or control a population from raising any opposition to the entrenched power cartel. This can happen just as easily in a democracy (even politicians are still people subject to the magnetism of greed and one or more lies to get a result)
One critical feature of each passing regime and something that has continued to flourish through times of oppression has been ART and it’s perpetrator, the ARTIST. Though artistic expression may have been outlawed or severely controlled under strict political or religious regimes, the artist, controlled by a need to record the injustice, some historic event, beauty amidst the ugliness or just try to make a living, pressed on.
As history shows the transformation that has reshaped civilizations using the sword (or the gun in all it’s incarnations) the brush still remains the simple tool for an artist to express his or her creative drive, that impulse that caused the artist to pick up the brush in the first place. In league with the brush is the pen, the pencil and other simple tools at the disposal of the artist to make comment or express an opinion that may even be the visually representative expression of the majority.
So then, don’t just sit there, go buy a brush and some paint and make a few statements that the sword will never be able to say. Or go and buy an art book and discover what drove artists through history to do what they did, some with lasting historic effects. If you’re feeling revolutionary start a new art movement with your abilities and join the army of brush wielding commentators and make a bold statement and pick up your pen and explain why you’re doing this.
The world needs a new art movement to drive public opinion on issues that really matter. However, before you take sides with the many opinions yelling at us today, make sure you get the balance, both sides of the coin otherwise you will be deceived. Remember, the artist is to express an informed view to help stimulate opinion from the bottom up. Don’t just accept the status quo as you may be unwittingly manipulated to accept a political compromise.
THE SQUINTING ARTIST
PS: Please visit my website and buy a painting or offer a comment. Both will be gratefully accepted.