May 18, 2011

Every Piece of Art has a Feeling

Every piece of art has a feeling. Every abstract shape or impressionist painting, every single song, each story: there is a feeling imbedded in its essence. It is something that vibrates off of the whole of a statue or from the center of a sonata. But it is at a wavelength barely detectable to the human mind, yet sensed it can be. It is just as real as any chord, but of a frequency most in the room cannot or will barely notice. Past the people and movements, past the instruments and notes of color, deep within the sound, the feeling can be felt. How much or how little is as much up to you as it is the artist. Awareness of this invisible thread running through our existence is not taught to the masses. It is rarely even discussed. It survives on our world because artists, often unwittingly, keep carrying it in, keep making it manifest. The way some species of trees and flowers survive because of dogs. Artists continually open little windows of opportunity and those who are able to feel the feeling gather and take in. It may not be more than a candle in an enormous dark room to some, but to others it might swell the inside of the mind so much it pushes out tears. A river running over into fields. Not because of sadness per se, but rather because it was real. Alive. Intense. Present. True. Pure within their being, expanding like a glow. When you look over as someone has a visceral reaction from an inanimate object, from a unique combination of sights or sound, know that it is an ability. They are receiving something you are not, fluent in a language that is unspeakable yet understood, caught in the middle of a transfer of vivid sensation that is beyond what you can “know.” Some can control it, some can not, and some are deaf and numb to its existence. It is up to you though. It might not have been before you read this—if you’ve never had an experience like the one above—but now that you know where it exists, it is up to you—whether you ever let the feeling in. Whether you take the sandstone of awareness and rub away the calluses of this self. Peel back the caked layers of falseness and fear and faked strength. It is there, the potential and possibility to feel like you’ve never felt before, to communicate with a dance floor, to dovetail a brushstroke, to be the microphone of all that is. The cup that runneth over need not ever leave your hand. To resonate with the world around you couldn’t be the worst of fates. Those who do might cry easily, but they laugh the most for sure. And who could look at laughter and not see it’s full of life? Just know that when art speaks, it conveys a world within a world: one that is full of wonderful details, and one that is full of gold. Most never get past the obvious or open up unto the whole, but for some it as if the art were aliveand they are communing with its soul.


The Nickster said...

Art is a mirror, and the only thing to be seen in a work of art is whatever it reflects back to you. To understand it, you have to draw on your own experience/education/concepts/ideas/life. If you don't bring anything to the table, there won't be anything to reflect back to you. If you don't "get it," that's not necessarily the fault of the artist!

Lady Gaga is not hard to understand. She represents youth/beauty/sex-fixation/image-conscious/me me me-ism, youth rebellion, the desperate need for attention -- we were all young once, and we all understand that perfectly because we went through it ourselves. We bring a lot to the table, in other words.

It's much more difficult to understand someone like Boy George because most of us don't have a frame of reference to fall back on (unless someone in your family is gay, or you're gay, or you have gay friends). Why is this man wearing a dress and make-up? What is he getting at? It can quite frightening and scary to be confronted with something like that, something way beyond your comfort zone, way beyond your own experiences of what the world is supposed to be and how people are supposed to behave. But if you let down your guard and open yourself to new possibilities, you may discover that people like Boy George offer a wonderful sort of quirkiness to the world that adds color and nuance. Then, above and beyond that, you may discover that Boy George - drag queens in general - is trying to tell you something vital and true about the world we live in.

Both Lady Gaga and Boy George are living works of art. I only cite them because they are easy points of reference. We could just as easily talk about Mozart as opposed to Chopin, or Caravaggio as opposed to Picaso, or Dickens as opposed to Camus. It's not hard to like Mozart, but Chopin offers something far more complex, richer and deeper and more satisfying. But the only way to get at that is to let down your guard and leave yourself open. Risky business, but it has its rewards!

(When are you going to sit down and write a book, huh? You know you want to ...)

Wonderland said...

Learned many vocabs out of this. So Thank You :)

KJ Ink said...

Nick :)

Dig your response. Totally get what you're saying. Gotta challenge you on one point though. "The only thing to be seen in a work of art is what it reflects back to you." ONLY?

A book? Well...what makes you so sure!?? Nah, I will write a book or two at some point, but I don' t think I'll ever write a creative work of fiction. Or if I do, it'll be something simple and small. I've never had an idea or inkling to create a novel, but non-fiction, real life stuff I could definitely do. Thanks for the encouragement though.

Cameron Conaway said...


It was terrific to hear your performance tonight man. Really, I loved the lyric, the message, the performance. Let's stay connected brother.

Hope to see you around,