The Global Significance of Art
George Wilhelm Friedrich Hagel, a philosopher during the Romantic Period, spoke of a world spirit. Hegel said our world spirit comes to stages of consciousness: first subjectively in the individual, second objectively in cultural society and third absolutely in self-realization through art, religion and philosophy.
Immanuel Kant, the first philosopher to have taught at a university, lived in an era where there rose an exaltation of artistic genius, as individuals felt the freedom to interpret life in artistic ways. In his aesthetics, Kant spoke of the wonder of being overwhelmed by beauty. In the book "Sophie's World," (pps. 266-67), Jostein Gaarder said, "the German poet Schiller developed Kant's thought further. Kant wrote that the activity of the artist is like playing and ...[one] is only free when ...[one] makes up ...[one's] own rules. The Romantics believed that only art could bring us closer to the inexpressible. Some went as far as to compare the artist to God. Because the artist creates ...[one's] own reality the way God created the world."
Think about the totality of your experience with a piece of art that captures you on sight. Awestruck, you stand in locked eye contact with the art. Everything around you disappears for the time you spend enraptured in the art. The art has put your body, mind and spirit on high alert absorption. You are actively taking in the art and you can usually remember clearly the first time you saw the piece of art.
If you are truly fortunate, you will be eager to own a piece of art that captures you in this way and you will have the wisdom to do whatever it takes to obtain it.
Here is one person's story: A student was captured by a large canvas his teacher had painted. The student wanted that painting more than anything. The teacher, however, never sold work. The student want on to sell art. Never forgetting that painting, the student 45 years later bought that painting at an estate sale after the teacher's death. The painting holds a prominent place in the former student's living room, bathed in light.
When I saw it, it captured me!
Visit art galleries and museums whenever you get the chance, or, even better, make the chances. Surround yourself with beauty and bring joy to your soul. Consider giving art as gifts. Imagine giving someone a gift of art that captures them! You'll know as soon as they open it. And, the joy you'll feel with tickle your heart and light up your soul! I remember the first time I received a large, original painting as a Christmas present. I hung it immediately behind my couch and, to this day, it was one of the most memorable Christmas presents I ever received. Do I still have the painting? Now, I have my paintings on my walls. But that painting went to a friend who received it with as much joy as I did. It still hangs on her wall!
Making art a part of your life enriches it. And, going to art galleries costs nothing unless you buy. Going to museums has little cost compared with other forms of entertainment.