What's the point of art? Before I share my answer to such a monumental question, I have other
business to address.
I am very pleased to announce that Artists Are Always Right is growing by leaps and bounds,
though I have personally neither leapt nor bounded recently as far as I can recall. The increasing
number of emails that we receive from individuals complimenting us on our efforts is rewarding!
Because of this response, I plan to continue with this "experiment" for many issues to come.
I want to thank each and every one of you for your kind words and suggestions on how to make
AAAR even better. I appreciate knowing that you enjoy AAAR and will certainly consider your
ideas. AAAR is, in a sense, a collaborative effort. Without yours truly, this journal would not exist.
Without all of you, there would be no need to continue with it.
For this issue's SPOTLIGHT, we present an exercise in art examination entitled, Inside The Image…Grand Teton National Park,
Wyoming. While this examination is an interpretation of a photograph, it might just as easily apply to a painting, song, dance,
sculpture, poem, architectural or fashion design…or any other form of artistic expression.
It really doesn't matter how creativity is conveyed. Art is art, pure and simple. In my exploration as an artist, I have come to realize
that one thing is certain. Medium of choice doesn't matter. What does matter is that all artists are unified.
I'm really getting into sharing my experiences as an artist (I have many at this point in my career) in the SPOTLIGHT feature.
Doing so is a lot of fun for me, especially now that the AAAR journal is published every other month and I don't have to cram as
much additional work into my already busy schedule. I still intend to showcase other artists if their desire and talent warrants it.
The SPOTLIGHT feature is a great opportunity for artists to get some more exposure without any financial expense. The only
"cost" is the time it takes to share your story. If you have both the desire and the talent, check out the SUBMISSIONS page.
We have received a few emails recently asking when we will be offering a version of AAAR optimized for small mobile devices.
The short answer is...never. If you would like to know the long answer behind the reason for this decision, you can read it by going
to the premier UP FRONT (February 2018) found on the PAST ISSUES page.
I am very pleased with the reception to our new lines of apparel that Karen and I recently introduced on both our
SchwartzNaturePhotography.com and DelawareShirts.com websites. As any artist knows, it is nice to be appreciated! Thank you!
Now on to the question I posed at the start of this UP FRONT. What's the point of art? In order to examine this question, I need to
go back in time a few years. As a matter of fact, quite a few years.
In 33,723 BC, on a pleasant autumn afternoon, an artist by the name of Arnf created a painting using a slab of rock as his medium
of choice (prove me wrong). This was something completely unheard of. Artists before and even during Arnf's time painted directly
on immovable cave walls for all to see…free of charge. Arnf didn't like this practice. Arnf wanted to do something radical. He wanted
to offer his work for sale! In other works, Arnf wanted to make a living from his work!
And so, Arnf painted on a slab of rock that could be hidden from view in his cave studio loft until he put it on display in his brand new
cave gallery on Main Street. Some people did not like Arnf's new concept, but Arnf stood steadfast. Many people wanted to glimpse
his "slab-vision"…as it came to be known…without financial compensation for Arnf, but he politely told them all to go _________
themselves. You fill in the blank. If you are a true artist like Arnf, I don't think you'll have any difficulty in doing so.
Arnf not only charged admission to see his painting (which included a complimentary beverage), but also offered the painting for
sale. Some rich person who lived in the big fancy cave on the hill eventually purchased it. It was during the exhibition that another
resident in the community envisioned another new financial opportunity by being Arnf's agent, but that's another story for another
So…is art a way to make money, as Arnf imagined it might be? Of course it is, or should be! But there is more to the story.
Much more, in fact.
The initial reason Arnf applied paint to rock was not for financial gain. Arnf, simply and beautifully, felt a compelling need to do so.
A need that originated deep in his soul. Arnf wanted to express something that cried out to be shared with others. Isn't that what
drives all artists to become artists in the first place? If an artist cannot relate to Arnf's spiritual desire for artistic expression,
perhaps they should consider another line of work.
Money, however, is still an important aspect for artists to consider. It takes financial commitment to be an artist, especially in
today's world. Maybe Arnf got his art supplies for free (berry juice, slabs of rock, and brushes made from leaves), but most artists
today must purchase their paints and canvasses, ink and paper, and a vast array of technical equipment. Why should artists be
expected to spend thousands of dollars to facilitate the creation of their art only to be expected to share their art for free?
Arnf didn't think that was right in his time. Today's artists have even more reason to complain!
So, were all the works of art throughout history…from Arnf's time until the present…created for profit, entertainment, or purely for
the joy of creating? I personally believe all of the above. An artist must react internally to an outward experience and, in doing so,
tap into that force deep within. But this artistic expression must also result in financial compensation to allow the artist to survive.
Did any piece of artwork, or all collectively in total, ever really change the world? I say most definitely yes, and for the better!
To create something that touches people in a positive way is so incredibly superior to the negative elements in the world. In fact,
I believe this provides the answer to the question. The point of artists and their artistic expressions throughout history is simply to
show how much better creating is than destroying!
In keeping with this thought, I will close this UP FRONT with observation number 604 from the SchwartzShirts.com website:
"Anyone can destroy. It takes an enlightened person to create."
As I continue to evolve as an artist, so too will this journal. Who knows what the future of AAAR holds? Certainly not I.
Until we connect again…
Douglas Schwartz, Publisher and Editor