I am one of those people who can be physically moved by an image. Recent photos of the Pelicans on the Gulf Coast left me speechless, the photographs churning in my stomach for days, a disturbing mixture of Art and Reality. It was a visceral reaction, an emotional response that I could not control.
Strangely, rather than protest the recent bombardment of images, I would rather see them than not. With technological advancements, our needs have accelerated so quickly that Art has become far more mainstream, and definitely more provocative. An instant barometer for our feelings, it is easier than ever to express our point of view in a non-verbal way.
With a click of a button we can order four colored images of our dog, a la Andy Warhol, or a giclee collage of our favorite swear word. Local stores have “handmade” pieces of found objects, abstractly joined together to create something that reminds us of a family heirloom. Your own original for only $29.95, plus tax.
As a sometimes annoying, self-proclaimed purist, I never understood the need for this. If I couldn’t have the original Andy Warhol, why bother? But, as our lives become more automated, Art, rather than suffer because of it, has blossomed into an important part of our every day existence.
Photographs can be downloaded, re-touched, re-sized and sent overseas in just a moment. Anything we want can be created and hung on a wall in minutes; an instant reminder of something we love, a memory or a secret thought.
In these days when we all complain about a disposable society and “chicken-nugget moms”, I am grateful that Art has become a beneficiary of our advancements, not a victim.
Enjoy it, use it, create it.