AP Language and Composition
23 January 2013
To Save The World
I’ll be honest; I never really knew what art was. I’ve never been a very artsy person; I mean I can’t even draw a straight line. But then, I began to really think about what makes up art, not art as a whole. Obviously art can’t be everything (that doesn’t make sense, I mean is a stapler art?), but it is a lot of things. It can be a song, a painting, a book, a ceramic pot, or even a dress. And typically when someone thinks of art as a whole, they picture some stuffy gallery with abstract sculptures of empty milk cartons that “symbolize the end of dairy products” or something deep like that. But art doesn’t have to be deep; it could simply be some cool photograph of a mug I just saw on Tumblr. The purpose of art is to simply be meaningful to someone, somewhere. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same meaning to everyone. Like imagine three people go into a store. Sitting in the middle of the showroom floor is a simple painting of just the sun rising. The first person stares for a moment remembering the first time she ever saw the sun rise with her fiancé, eyes watering with emotion, she walks away. The next person glances at the painting, thinks “oh a sun, that’s cool” and walks away. The last person stands staring at the painting for a moment. He thinks about how his grandfather can no longer go outside and see the sun rise, and buys the painting for him. The point is that that one painting had three completely different reactions to one simple painting. And that is what art is, one thing that has so many different aspects and so many different meanings all at one time.
Art has pretty much a part of society since the very beginning; it has been around since the literal Stone Age and can still be seen today. The purpose of art is to influence things around it. For example, the very first piece of art ever discovered is cave paintings from the Cave of El Castillo in northern Spain, and may be more than 40,000 years old. And 40,000 years later, paintings are still around and one of the most known forms of art. Art simply a competition amongst artist in society. Do you think that Donatello who sculpted the famous David did so simply because he wanted to? No, he wanted to be famous, he wanted generations after him to know his name. He wanted to be the greatest sculpture that had ever lived. And if he had never aspired to be great and become great, would Leonardo da Vinci have become so famous. Da Vinci wanted to become known too, and he would with paintings like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. All the people involved in art around the world, from every era, are in competition with one another. That is art’s purpose in society, to inspire people to give their all to their art and try to become something with it.
When someone talks about art, they have to talk about the artist. An artist is someone who creates something with the intention of it to be important, whether it be to them or to others as well. I have been taking ceramics this year and I would like to consider myself an artist. I still cannot draw at all, my projects are not worthy of any awards, and I’m probably going to smash them all once the class is done, but I’m still an artist. Like I made this mask for a project and the whole time I was working on it, everyone told me that it was the creepiest thing they have ever seen and they didn’t know what I was thinking making it. But I was proud of that thing and I was going to finish it and they were all going to feel sorry for ever saying it was creepy! I spent a long time on that thing and when it was finally done and I showed everyone they still claimed it was creepy. But I didn’t care, looking at that mask; I knew how hard I had worked and how proud I was to have made it. And that is what makes an artist. Someone, who despite all efforts against their chosen art, still makes it and is proud of it no matter what. An artist doesn’t technically have to be making what I call art specifically, like the guy who invented a stapler. I’m sure his friends thought he was crazy, but he was proud of his invention and that makes him an artist.
I think artist are here to change the world. Not like a huge moment in human history where they have like solved the problem of cancer or war or something, but like change the way the world works. They generally see things differently than more scientific based people and that is a powerful things. Right now, society is run by those with the brilliant minds who have memorized the entire Constitution for no reason, not that there’s anything wrong with that, just that it’s not the way artist think. Like I said, in order to be an artist you have to take pride in what you are doing no matter what, and with that comes optimism. Optimists are what make the world a bright place because they are not consumed by the thought of how everything will go wrong, but how it will go right. Without optimism war would never end because why not have endless war? It’s going to continue happening anyway, might as well continue on fighting right? This is why I believe artist will change the world and that is their role in society. To make it a better place for people to live. To ensure that society will never sink into the desperate clutches of pessimism, because who would every make art then?