IX. Effectology in the Arts
"Individualism is the beginning and the end of all art."
Questions that will be considered:
What does it takes to be an artist?
How does the artist function in the real life?
How important are accidents for an artist?
Mother Nature creates the best pieces of art. From the endlessly decorated starry sky to silhouettes of monumental mountains, from the vast oceans dotted with mirage-like islands to the splendidly colored animals and flowers, natural beauty is everywhere. This random beauty is entirely the effect of countless accidents that shaped our planet and created its different forms.
Our earth provides the only paradise humans may ever know and their closest glimpse of heaven. Unlike the animals, humanity shows an emotive reaction to all the beauty surrounding them. Primitive people were no exception and celebrated the joy of life in many ways.
Because in time the useful object also becomes aesthetically pleasing, the art of work changed into work of arts. Art involved the creative faculty of the brain, with very sensitive needs and skills to express it. Primitive art expressed simple but beautiful feelings as a vehicle to reveal something thrilling in life.
When men painted animals on cave walls, molded them in clay or sculptured them in wood and stone, Homo Artifex (artist) was born. Probably their skins, filled with tattoos meant to bring them luck, were the first canvases ever painted by people. Mothers singing to their babies and women painting their faces and bodies or dancing their feelings were perhaps the first real artistic manifestations. These were complemented by men's singing and dancing to keep the demons away, to convey their generosity, to heal the sick, and to tell stories of their hunts or war experiences.
Whether singing and dancing to invoke sunshine and rain, or for pure entertainment and courtship, any celebration had a theme, which usually was an accident of life. The births of a babies, weddings, plentiful harvests, victories, or funerals were the most celebrated events. To further immortalize these events, drawings on a piece of wood or in stone were done. That was to make sure that these milestones of beauty in life would last in time for future generations to enjoy.
Producing images was the beginning of common popular art, found in all civilizations and cultures of ancient times. It shows that art was the only human activity in which the timeframe was almost irrelevant. It took on functional forms with pottery shaped in appealing forms painted with bright colors in intricate designs. Five-thousandyear-old or five-year-old pottery still pleases a user's eyes in the same aesthetic way. The traditional art of jewelry needs no comment, since some of the most sophisticated personal adornments have been found in ancient graves, ready to be worn today.
Most of the known events of history were chiseled out of stone or painted on the walls. The sculptures and paintings of the ancient world are highly informative about the way those societies lived, how tools were made and used, the way buildings were erected and commerce was conducted, ways to transport and navigate, and how wars were fought.
Arts were always associated with religion. The great civilizations of the Aztecs and the Maya produced pyramids and art objects to rival those of Egypt and China. The great pyramids of Giza with their illustrated walls are time capsules as informative as today's TV channels. The priestly vestments adorned with rich embroidery in silver and gold displaying designs in precious stones showed the richness of God and served to impress the believers.
Armies died, empires crumbled, and temples turned into rubble, but only paintings, sculptures, frescos, and mosaics lasted to help history remember certain crucial events and famous people. The first war "movie" is on the Trajan Column built Rome, which in stone frescoes shows how the Romans defeated the Dacians (ancient Romanians) north of the Danube River.
All in all, art is an immortal creation and probably the only way to freeze time and space for eternity. Artists die, but their artwork lives on as an undisputable testimony of their talent, and a record of an era gone by. It shows how arts challenged the culture and progress of certain civilizations or societies.
Art depicts much of the essential reality and the world itself, and is a source of knowledge and of standards of beauty that have never changed. Because nothing can match the splendor of nature, artists have tried to artificially copy and capture a certain thrilling aspect of it. Paintings reproduced nature in two dimensions and sculpture in three dimensions, while music and poetry need no dimensions, only the imagination to express admiration.
Obviously, art associates itself the most with beauty. Plato described beauty as a property of all things, which makes them stand out and be admired. Indeed, any display of art must make a person stop and happily meditate about its meaning. It simply dazzles the viewer or listener, educated or not, sensitive or not, as it induces a dream-like feeling. To admire art, one must enjoy it and identify with it. And that is the meaning of any form of art.
To create is a human urge, but especially so with the arts, which are based on the sensitivity of soul. In a broad sense, art is the ability of a creative mind to reproduce something exciting and beautiful. Sunshine penetrating a thick forest, a tiger drinking water from a bubbling creek, a child laughing, a shapely women dancing, a red sunset, a swan floating on a blue lake, or an eagle gliding into the clouds are images that stick in anyone's memory. Yet only an artist can draw a picture or sing about it.
What artists do is challenge boring life crowded with man-made artifacts and produce refined things. Their creations transport us to an idealistic world of beauty and trigger sensitivities and emotions of rare intensity.
Over time, artists have created in the public a sophisticated taste in the arts and the urge to treasure them. The sense of possession is connected with the uniqueness of the art object, which gives the owner immense pleasure to own it exclusivity. The accumulation of artistic collections and the refinement of artistic tastes made a solid foundation for culture in any civilization.