Here are links to some artists whom we love. They’re curious, they pay attention, they look into the world (reflect) seeking “what is” and find the world returning their interest. We are connected, all.
All of these artists are “engaged” in the contemporary conversation. It’s the job of artists to depict the world around us, that’s what we do, it’s our responsibility, our great joy, our headache. This is a critical time: climate change, over population, human greed, indifference, carelessness, exploitation, selfishness are moving the planet towards a tipping point beyond which is only a downward – for humans at least – slide. We’re all sitting in front of great catastrophe, utterly aware, collectively nervous.
So what’s the point of making art if we’re looking into the face of calamity? Inspiration comes from beauty, amazement, curiosity, from rivers of deep grief churning through our wounded planet, from specific sorrows for disappearing species or of broken hearted wrath directed at the careless, selfishness of our species. There are moments of joy – even rapture – and discovery, the great, unearned moments of the “explosive now” in which there is no judgement, no agenda or disappointment, no past and no future. Just one moment of “now” exploding into the next. Artists are all over the map with responses: enraptured by the stunning beauty of calamity (and perhaps hoping to jump out of the way on time), or provoking activism, or hinting at the mysteries lying beneath every surface, or curious about how the future will create itself.