The Challenge of Art

I came across a great article that falls right in line with our purpose of seeking out good art.  The whole article is worth your attention, here's a small excerpt:

"The challenge of art is beauty. And the challenge of beauty is truth. Truth is challenging. But it is also inviting. It is also glorious and liberating. Truth is wondrous, not scandalous....
"Take, for example, one of our finest playwrights, whom I generally admire both as a playwright and a person: Stephen Adly Guirgis. In his plays In Arabia Wed All Be Kings and Our Lady of 121st St., he gives us a gruesome, heart-wrenching picture of the underbelly of our society, of the often (willfully) unseen results of corporate and political malfeasance, of drugs, of hope and lost hope, of dignity shrouded in darkness; and he does this with great empathy and humanity. But he stops there. There is no solution. There is nothing to be praised. He gives this hell to the audience, and we are supposed to 'do something about it-that is the challenge. The difference is that in great art, when Dante gives us Hell, he also leads us through Purgatory and into Paradise. It is precisely this which is lacking in art today. Our artists are content to give us hell.
"What we find in truly great art, however, is not the challenge of hell, but a glimpse of heaven. The artist does not come with demands and accusations, but comes offering praise, delight, beauty, hope, truth. The artists vocation, like all vocations, must be understood as a call to love and humility. This should be at the forefront of the artists mind: love your audience as yourself."
Even movies that are historically accurate and depict awful truth can offer a glimmer of hope, inspire us today to live better, nobler, and to do good for society.  It is an artists job to challenge society, but not merely for the sake of challenging us, but to challenge us to improve ours and our neighbor's lives.

1 comment:

  1. What I got from this excerpt: art today is like today's government ... all about special interests :)