The State of Art

I’m worried about what we’re doing to artists in our world.

I’m worried about art. I’m worried about what we’re doing to artists in our world. I’m worried that the more we expect artists to appear and behave as perfect deities, the more we will be forced to consume art and artists who will be inauthentic, forced to hide their true artistic selves out of survival from the Outrage Machine of the internet.

Every day, I see someone bereft at the state of artistry. It’s all pop now, no substance. The only people who are sustaining a life as an artist are the ones who can withstand constant and relentless criticism on their every move. Most artists create from a sensitive, vulnerable place. That is the art we respond to most. Yet, we keep forcing these types of artists into shadows because we are not paying reverence or respect to the kind of emotion and unguardedness that is necessary for pure art to be created.

I’m worried our best artists are shying away from using their voices out of fear of constant retribution for their actions. In this current internet age, it seems that we are demanding perfection, ignoring context, and filling our news with human fallibility as opposed to true malicious intent. I’m worried we are missing out on true authentic expression because, simply, those artists are too afraid to put their heart out into the public and watch it become trampled over nonsensical and sensationalized missteps.

It is not a good time to be famous right now. The Outrage Machine is churning and churning and churning while producing pageviews which are lining the pockets of people who have forgotten the real reason we all long for artists who are willing to share their vulnerability with a world that is reckless with it.

We need art. Every decade is defined by its artistic vision. And, art shows us a world beyond ourselves. Art heals. Art is not something we can afford to squander and bastardize. In a time when hope seems less and less, the shining beacon are the artists who dare to express a better vision of our world.

Yet, the more we become outraged by an artists’ humanity and fallibility, the more those artists will surrender into the shadows. Falsity will reign. Inauthentic expression will become the norm. Whereas the internet was, finally, a place to cut out the gatekeepers and allow artistic expression in so many form, it is at risk of becoming a tainted, unsafe place for true expression. Artists must be given a slack of rope in which to fall in order to provide to us art that can change lives and define a decade.

I wonder if our historical artistic idols would have been able to withstand the scrutiny of the internet. I wonder how many beautiful artists we may have missed out on. I’m worried. I’m worried we’re missing out.