People are growing more adamant in their anger and blame. They are becoming more dictatorial, and more sarcastic. Creating art brings our attention to values that are completely antithetical to these behaviors. Let’s consider how we must approach art if we are to create it.
The first thing that strikes me is that creating art begins with pondering. As a photographer I ponder what I see in an effort to be truly open to things, people, and situations. I cannot make a good photograph by imposing myself or my views.
The sunset photo is the result of paying attention. I simply noticed the scene and clicked the shutter. There is no room for conceit. Art is a humbling experience.
The sunset photo reminds me that I am a witness to a grand plan and a magnificent creation. I have photographed young people over a span of decades. That, too, is a humbling experience. It reminds me of the pace and rhythm of life. Many people are moving in a different direction.
Art reminds us of beauty, and it reminds us that we have much to learn about appreciating it. Noticing and admiring beauty increases our receptivity to it in ourselves, other people, and the environment.
Consider Mr. Reich’s observations on how attitudes are being manipulated.
Surveys show that most of Trump’s followers are non-college-educated whites whose incomes have plummeted and whose jobs are less secure than ever. They’re mad as hell, and see Trump as heroic because he is acting as if he has their interests at heart. Trump is directing their anger and anxiety against Latinos, blacks, Muslims, the major media, and the political establishment. It’s the formula demagogues have used through history.—Robert Reich
It is my experience that people in general are reluctant to explore beauty through photographs. People who develop their artistic sensitivity are relatively rare. That is one of the reasons I am so enthusiastic about encouraging people to explore their own artistic calling.
The silence from readers of this blog suggests to me that people are wary of speaking up about their own interests. We would do well to change that attitude and behavior.