The struggle of any artists begins with a risky decision- do you accept reality under the terms and conditioned in which they are dictated or do you leap off the cliff and free fall to the rhythm of your own music?
There are those that destroy, those that conquer, and those that create. Artists, Philosophers and spirituality are not welcomed among the left brained community, for they are the creators. What are we, artists, doing? Why do we spend the time making essentially useless things? Talking, painting or writing seldom generates the revenue that those working bodies could have generated at the same hours spent on intensive product labor. Nor does it ensure or further our survival. Nor is it an “of the earth” escapism like cracking a joke,or drinking a beer. Art, true art, is not choreographed to dance between capital exchanges. And thus the war between the worlds begin.
Freud spoke of our two selves there was the primal animal self that wanted to survive, to kill spawn and create and then there was our societal self. Our societal self was essentially created the second that one cave man really preferred to no longer be clubbed in the head by his neighbor – there then was a cease fire where everyone created societal contracts that said “I won’t eat all of your roast duck, if you don’t steal my new wheel.” From these contracts we were born into societies, scattering into different sections all writing different forms of the same rules. All people are then compromising our primal desires in order to uphold the social contracts, anything breaching these primal urges is banished as dangerous to our contract- one of our primal desires is to create.
Thus in a primal form every artists faces that fear of death in order to live out the ability to create. Art does not take into consideration the worries of survival in our most basic primal forms and desires, in fact, it asks you to question all of it. The “Art world” for the purposes of this article are considered the use of any medium: art, philosophy or spirituality that allows the artist to see beyond the basic understanding of or reality. And so mysticism and artistic abstraction are the primal ability to abstract and mediate above the scope of our present moments and hover to a more inclusive aerial understanding, of dimensions outside our more basic perspective.
Being an artist means having the ability to pin prick through the webbing’s of all our contractual obligations to society. The meanings that philosophers, artists and mystics inspire understandings that help the scope of our collective conscience. You have to bank on the fact that your will to create is correct or worth enough, or else you’ll end up poor and wrong. Which is made easier by the apathy created by tough economical times, check out my previous article, titled, Doomsday Generation to read more.
You give up survivalist dreams about big houses, nice cars and fat retirement funds for a life of half drawn shoes, your own fire kiln and a chalk outline of yourself you’ve decided to trace on the living room floor.This feels crazy, and if you don’t believe that the desire to create is great enough, then it is crazy. Art then becomes a high that our primal selves crave an input into our primal world. The pain that an artist feels is the conflict ion between the beliefs about the survival and his own importance in the material world and the longevity in which the material world will keep him from the artistic perspective. Artists then become junkies to creation, risking more and more the further they stray from the material world. When you look at the truly inspired like Bjork or Matthew Barney you are looking at two individuals that were brave enough to make a decision to stay committed to creation above all else and not just two miscreants that were too lazy to get a job. So next time you see an artist struggling to get by and you have the extra cash, tip him a bit extra or buy her best painting because true artists are much like shamans, they can bring back, what we do not yet know.