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Monday, March 23, 2009

Art as a Gift of the Universe

I haven’t posted for a rather long time because I’ve been busy pondering the meaning of life.

Actually, among the things I’ve been juggling is a treatise on the Art of Looking. As I’ve considered the subject, I’ve realized something quite fundamental about my approach to art:

I believe that a work of art is a gift of the Universe.

Here’s the spiritual logic: anything created by someone is an offering of a part of that person’s Being … an expression of the uniqueness of who that person is. We talk about a person as “gifted”. We refer to a person’s particular talent as “a gift from God”. We talk about gifts “coming from the heart”.

When a child gives us an off-kilter clay something-or-other, we are delighted … we recognize the care and concentration and the effort that went into it, and we receive it as a gift of that child’s Being … even while wondering what it is!

The extent to which you at least try to appreciate the work is an expression of your gratitude for the gift. It’s a reciprocal relationship. Taht may sound a little flaky … but so often when looking at an amazing work I feel a profound gratitude to the Universe that human beings are able to create such things.

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