I saw this article showing a photographer’s photos of ‘life behind bars’ from the 1980s.
It’s so strange to me how we’ll see these photographs of various problems in our world, from crime, to war, to poverty, to guns, homelessness, depicted and glorified as ‘art’, with the emphasis being placed more on the ‘beauty’ and ‘style’ and ‘artistic composition’ of the photos rather than the fact that what we’re looking at is part of everyone’s reality, part of this world, and how — it is a problem that requires a solution.
So, can this really be called self expression? Can this really be called creativity? Or is this just mental masturbation — glorifying style to the point where it is more important than life?
Are things like crime, prisons, poverty, war, violence, destruction, just subject material here for us to use for our entertainment? Is looking at pictures really more important to us than finding solutions for these problems? Art makes a statement of who we are. The words we speak and the actions we take day in and day out make a statement of who we are and what we accept and allow.
Currently, most art in the world merely makes the statement that ‘I am a limited participant in reality, only able to manipulate pictures and present them to make money and be popular and win awards’.
Is that the definition of creativity we are willing to accept?
As an artist myself, I’ve found I am able to expand my creativity beyond a limited construct of merely being entertained by pictures, to actually using art as a medium to convey and show a message of what is here as this reality, and within that to ask questions and explore solutions — I can place something in this world that is actually of value to life — I can actually give myself a greater purpose. We require some Self Honesty in looking at how we’re Responding to what we see in this world, because those of us with money, with comfortable lives, with free time, with access to resources, those of us with a voice, and the means to place our expression in the world for many to see and hear and experience — we have a Responsibility within our Ability to Respond to the reality we are seeing. Are we going to respond by Accepting what we see as just scenery, just pictures here for our entertainment? Or are we going to Respond by standing up and communicating, sharing, expressing that we must have a world without harm, a world that does not for instance include conditions of poverty and deprivation that causes crime, but rather a world with laws that protect and support a good life for everyone?
Each of us is capable of such expansion and creativity. It comes down to what we’re willing to accept and allow to exist in this world, and where we place value — in our current self definitions? Or in Life?
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