Art by its Nature

Been thinking about this lately, and what do you know, have been encountering its various aspects, one after another.  I feel like Rilke’s character in The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Briggs.

What is it, exactly, about art and the creative act?  It’s an authentic impulse that demands expression.  It’s its own master.  It doesn’t care if it’s a tree whose silent fall in a forest is heard by nobody (though of course it would prefer an audience). It doesn’t look sideways and doesn’t require validation.  It is its own raison d’etre.  Needless to say, it’s not about making a buck.

It is a graceful vessel for tradition.  It is compelled to explore the margins of being, of existence, and gives us a way to wonder what exactly is this experience called life.  It sees beauty in beauty–and beauty also in a ragged or bleeding edge.  It is graceful but unafraid to lurch, to dwell with fear and with the unknown.

Art is a container for the ephemeral.

Life is ephemeral.  And life is thus beautiful, and life is thus art.

All these weeks of thinking and these few lines, just so.


~ by Shirley Kwan on May 8, 2013.

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