Art is the audacity of believing that you have something worth saying.
I had a coffee with a photographer the other day. We spoke of so many things, of vision, of purpose, and of the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. As he told me about his art, photography, specifically headshots, he described his struggle as an artist wrestling with ordinary subjects, in the attempt to bring forward the remarkable within each of them. These people come in for a professional headshot, but attempt to hide their character behind a concerted smile, conceal their large ears with their hair, and veil their tooth gap with closed lips. Yet, as an artist, his goal is to illuminate and capture this very trait, the human elements. What makes a remarkable photograph? It is the snag tooth, the frayed hair, it is the radiant eyes, and forlorn gaze of a broken widow. It is the sadness, the depth of imperfections. These make an image that will cause the viewer to hesitate, to stare a second longer, to ask questions.
The production of wonder starts with an imperfection.
In this pursuit of perfection we’ve all embarked on, we seem to lose our humanity. We trade our scars for concealers, our personalities for acceptance.
So I wonder, what makes a story great? The rasp of a voice, the wavering of a word, the subtle pause and wandering silence. We seldom recognize the strength of a few syllables and silence when it is punctuated with emotion.
Thus with writing, with photography, with art of all kinds, let it capture the imperfection of mankind. Let it embalm the pettiness and agony, and preserve the silence and solace. Art is the study of what makes us human, and not gods. It is the search of beauty in the brokenness.
That is why Art is beautiful.