WE MUST RESHAPE ART IF WE ARE TO TACKLE THE CHALLENGES SOCIETY FACES

WE MUST RESHAPE ART IF WE ARE TO TACKLE THE CHALLENGES SOCIETY FACES
Art and culture are an indicator of the health of any society. Great artists help shape great societies. Think of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, van Gogh and Picasso. Society follows what artists do closely. Oscar Wilde rightly said, “Life imitates art, more than art imitates life”.
And Bertolt Brecht added, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.”
Today, we are all artists. It doesn’t matter whether you work in an office or on a stage, in Nairobi or Zurich. It doesn’t matter what you do. What matters is how you do it.
But, in today’s art world too many artists appear to be just seeking attention. So-called artists are covering skulls with diamonds, placing inflatable butt plugs in the centre of Paris, replicating shit and ‘birthing’ eggs filled with paint. They may claim there is some complex rationale behind their work, but I’m not buying it.
I believe artists have a responsibility. We are one of the few independent voices left. Society has lost faith in politicians, media and religious leaders. As Henry Miller asked, “Who but the artist has the power to open man up, to set free the imagination?”
What kind of world do you want to live in? One that focuses on fame and fortune for a few? Or growth for many? As an artist, how can you use your talents to shape your world? How can you produce work that provokes others to enquire how to tackle challenges such as climate change, immigration, and the enormous discrepancy between rich and poor?
Listen to this podcast and join me at the opening of my new show, Life is an Art, on 27/28 March in Zurich to find out more. Visit www.lifeis.how for the details.

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