Should Art be relatable?
As I was finalizing the past year, I was thinking about what I have done so far, in my life in general as well as artistic endeavors.
And where I was going to go next.
What I plan to focus on in the New Year is healing. In every sense of the word.
Art being a huge part of it.
What I feel I must do, is follow through with the concept of creating a new body of work, relating to some of the personal experiences I had to go through in my own journey through life, as well as hardships and struggles all around the world.
What prompted this idea is me wanting to create sort of a story of my life, where I started and what I had to go through, through art of course. I want to not only tell my story, but also tie in the stories of so many injustices and stories untold. I want to be a voice of those people. People who are displaced in this world due to the circumstances beyond their control. People who are stateless, without human rights, immigrants, refugees, and people struggling around the world.
I wanted to bring to life issues that matter the most to so many people, yet their struggles are unknown. I wanted to somehow tell those stories, because I think they matter. And because I think they need to be brought to light and to existence, to an awareness so that in some way it may alleviate their suffering and struggles.
I am still working on this concept, so many stories to tell and what do I focus on? Political issues, economic? Where do I start and how do I tie it all together into a cohesive body of work?
One of the concepts I wanted to focus on is the lack of clean water in so many parts of the world. I too have experienced those issues growing up in Estonia which used to be a part of Soviet Union.
For one, we lived without hot running water for 12 years and without any kind of bathing facility. But…that’s a long story for another time.
As so many of my ideas come out in some sort of the surrealism form, I wanted to paint a sink full and overflowing with blood instead of water. To signify the hardship and suffering due to the lack of clean water.
When I shared my idea with someone close to me, I was asked a question for which I haven’t prepared for and it didn’t even cross my mind.
I was asked: “Do you think people in America would be able to relate to this topic on any level, when the shittiest apartment in US comes with clean running water?”
It stumbled me…I thought, no, of course not, how could they relate to that not having experienced anything of the kind?
Which brought me to the question, should art be relatable? Should I only focus my work on the topics that will appeal to the majority of people, who would potentially buy my art? Do the topics of hardship and injustices is just a waste of time? Because they’re not popular and therefore do not carry the potential of being worth my time $?
Maybe………but who will care about those un-popular topics? Isn’t our, all our responsibility to care?
To think about things that are hard to think about, to try and put ourselves in their shoes even if just for a moment? To help somehow. No matter how small the contribution.
Who will be their voice?
How can we not???
One day I dream of becoming a working artist and a photographer. Yes, of course I would like to earn my living doing what I sleep and dream of doing. Expressing my ideas through some kind of creative outlet and bringing them to life.
But I want so much more than that!
I want my life to have a meaning, to be doing something worthwhile, to feel a complete emotional connection to my work.
I want to do something that I think will matter. Not to sound like a cliché, but I really do want to contribute my part, no matter how small on making this a better world.
Think about natural disasters, people who lose all of their material possessions, all the sentimental things that are dear and irreplaceable. You would think that they have nothing else to give, yet there are so many stores of people opening up their hearts even in those trying times and they give of themselves, their compassion and kindness, as they come together and offer each other support and whatever help they can give.
I feel that as an artist, it is my responsibility to uplift the world through my art. Even while talking about very harsh and difficult topics in the end, you always have to offer some kind of hope and light.
To me that hope and light lies in people. Through the goodness we find within us all, it is love, acceptance and human compassion.