The Cloud Gallery - Tony Schaefer

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Does Art Still A Purpose?

The creative expression of our human condition/dilemma has always been apparent. From the caves at Lascaux to all the online social media sites, we want to express what is happening to us. We want to share our burden in the hope of transmitting some message or to elicit sympathy or simply to say "I exist", I was here.

My relationship to art and it's practice, since my awakening, has obviously changed. But the question that always circles back round, and usually just in the form of a "self check" system is "What is it for?" and "What am I trying to say?". The content of my work now and even before my awakening was to question the nature of "reality" and my relationship to it, which probably had a big part in my actual awakening. Ha!

In days gone by we painted and sculpted to represent the world, and your ability to rendered it with accuracy made you "an artist". Today, we have broken every rule (perspective, composition, colour relationships), crossed boundaries and mixed media. We use digital software and video, we collect, share, copy, reproduce. We have Street Art hanging in the gallery and more than likely gallery art that belongs in the dumpster. We have "art stunts" making the "artist" rich and famous and life long artist never making a living. Art as commodity, art as accessory, art as therapy and art as a necessity.

When I first went to art school (30 years ago) the teacher was not afraid to say, "What the fuck is that supposed to be?" or "What the hell are you doing?", nowadays my teachers always have something positive to say about everyone and everything. Which is ok but it doesn't get the student to question what it is they ARE doing and their ability to communicate it. Which means EVERYONE can be "an artist". So if everyone IS or can be "an artist" what is ART for? Is it meant to kick start the revolution or simply to match the throw pillows on the couch? Is it meant to alter consciousness or help you over a break up? Is it self indulgent pap or profound markers of our time here? The critic will answer one way, the student of art another, the house wife and the art collector all have their opinions. For me, I need more than an interesting composition or good technique ( but that DOES help ). I want some depth of meaning, something of the artist; the search, the struggle, the vision. There is now and will be to come, some great inspirational art with depth of meaning that points beyond the dream, but it often seems like there is so much more "noise" that it is harder to find. Arts purpose for me is to share my awakening vision and if you ever see something less than that on my site don't be afraid to ask "What the fuck is that supposed to be?"

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