Should art just bring joy from beauty, like the Mona Lisa, or should art also make you think with a message, like the Guernica? Or should it be both? I will sometimes make something beautiful, sometimes with a message, and sometimes both.
To me, fundamentally, there are two types of art. Both serve a purpose, be it a different purpose.
Everybody knows the Mona Lisa. And everybody likes it. It is a beautiful painting, with a great (hi)story. Many years ago, I watched it in real life in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Actually, it was smaller than I expected. Yet, still impressive. Beautiful.
But, it doesn’t really have a political message or societal meaning. It is just a beautiful painting. Technically well done. It gives the viewer a great feeling. And the smile, of course, the smile …
And that is great. Joy from beauty. ‘Monalisart‘ makes the world more beautiful. I love to make the world a little bit more beautiful.
And, everybody knows the Guernica. And many people like it. It is a magnificent painting, with a (hi)story. I watched it this spring in the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid, Spain. It is huge. It is impressive.
Not everybody knows, that is really is a political pamphlet. It is a protest against the bombardment of the small town of Guernica in the North of Spain by the Nazi’s in WW2. Today, someone might make a similar work to protest the bombing by the Russian army of, let’s say, Bucha or Mariupol in Ukraine.
And that is great , too. Art with a message. The artist as the political activist, philosopher, the canary in the mine, the court jester, or even the village idiot. ‘Guernicart‘ attempts to awake the world.
Or … both?
To me, both are valuable types of art. With a different purpose. No problem.
And, I believe, that a good story never hurts an artwork. Be it a story about the becoming of the artwork or about the contents or meaning of the artwork, or both. People live by stories.
I will do both monalisart and guernicart. Sometimes, I will make art to create joy from beauty. Sometimes, I will make art with a philosophical message. Often with a story.