Art is The Very Essence of Our Being

September 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

artlascouxIngmar Bergman at an advanced age unbelievably got into a physical altercation with a man who criticized his work and until the day that he, Mr. Bergman died, never forgave the man who merely wrote a negative review about him. I saw an interview on a NetFlix special, and was shocked to hear Ingmar Bergman, many years after the incident, state that he continued to harbor hatred for this man, and flat out stated that he ought to burn in hell for eternity.

Believe it or not, I get it !!! My wife and I run a blog in which we both take tremendous pride. I, personally take offence when someone criticizes not the content (we actually encourage disagreement and debate) but rather denounces the style , etc.  – Worse still is when someone doesn’t even read what we wrote. Surely not everything we put up is a masterpiece, but it is a bummer when people just completely dismiss it – all the blood, sweat, and tears into every single word for nothing.

Every true artist wants everyone else to appreciate his or her work and except for a handful of artists like Woody Allen who genuinely, at this point in his career, really doesn’t care if people say something akin to “Your Last film sucked !!!” The fact is Woody Allen has been around more than a half century, has made dozens of masterpieces throughout his career, and is lucky enough to be absolutely secure about his work and his legacy.

Quentin Tarantino, the famous filmmaker, is in such an incredibly fortunate position in which making $$ or turning a profit means absolutely nothing to him. Of course, Mr. Tarantino wants his latest work to be a blockbuster so the producers, money – men, and investors are happy, but not unlike Woody Allen, he’s really concerned a whole lot more about chalking up another perfect gem for generations after his death so they can watch, enjoy, and appreciate it.

I was just reading a piece from the New York Times Book Review which basically describes how the American novelist, William Gaddis, became suicidal after getting negative reviews for his first novel, ‘The Recognitions’  –a book he thought would put him on par with the all-time greats of the twentieth century. Instead, he said, “Nobody even bothered to read my book (it was too long and difficult) …. America has odd ways of making one feel one’s self a failure.” Later, 20 years later, after Gaddis died, ‘The Recognitions’ was named one of ‘Time Magazines’ 100 best novels from 1923 – 2005.

This sort of contradicts what I’ve just written so far but, I sometimes wonder if it is even necessary that your art is seen, celebrated, and appreciated. Just think about the Lascaux Paintings which are paleolithic cave paintings painted circa 17,300 years ago. This work was obviously not meant to be seen by anybody (the pitch dark blackness and the art in a cave) but by the artists themselves and I suspect perhaps by whatever gods the people of that time were worshipping. So, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ?

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2 Responses to “Art is The Very Essence of Our Being”

  1. K. Scot Sparks Says:

    …’hear you on this, brother. On one hand, we want to be content striving to make and, sometimes, achieve excellence – ‘for the angels,’ as it were. On the other hand, its beautiful to sense substantive response regarding substantive work one has so intentionally conceived-of/performed/done/made. I pray we can participate in receiving and ‘projecting’ the substantive Good, Beautiful, and True – at least some of the time. : )

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    Beautifully stated, Kevin.

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