Soul values as opposed to Commercial values

September 19, 2007

The intro is in the previous post.

I would say that the commercial world is based on several of the following precepts:

  • there isn’t enough to go around
  • the business is more important than people
  • you have to fight to get your share
  • it is a hard world, you have to be hard to survive in it
  • the worth of something is based on its marketability 
  • money is the bottom line

The commercial world’s values have become society’s values. As Suzi Gablik has pointed out in many of her books, these are the criteria that artist’s too are expected to adopt.

But I want to take a look at the real function of art and artists in the society, the one that is not defined by the current market system.

Artists are not only makers of pictures to hang on walls, we are guardians of a powerful force for renewal. We use symbolic language to express inner realities. We regenerate old systems by questioning the assumptions upon which they are based and creating creative chaos to break them down and help to build them anew.

And more tangibly, we teach children how to use their imaginations, we teach the society by example how to be creative thinkers, we create beauty, we show aspects of the world in a new way, forge new directions for societies, raise difficult questions. We operate in the world of vision, soul, myth, symbols, enchantment and the sacred. And we bring these back into the mainstream so that others can be nourished and inspired. 

Artists create culture and this needs to be valued as much as computer or banking skills.

2 Responses to “Soul values as opposed to Commercial values”

  1. edtajchman Says:

    What a great post, I could not agree more! This is why I appreciate artists like Warhol but do not take his work to heart. Artists are like the radar of conciousness for the human species. Commercialism needs to be balanced with more, like you say, vision, soul, myth, symbols, etc. I find some of Rothkos last works, the large black paintings, very ominous, mysterious and breathtaking. Check out my website http://edsartworkshop.com

  2. szoutewelle Says:

    HI Ed, thanks.
    I like your colorful drawings, the ones with a lot of segments and movement in them. I will take a closer look at your site later.
    And yes, commercialism in itself isn’t wrong, it needs, as you say, to be balanced.

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