Art – more than instant gratification

Surrounded by beauty

“Surrounded by beauty” by D.S. Herold / Copyright 2013

The American Poet and Essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) once wrote

“Love of beauty is taste.  The creation of beauty is Art.”

About one hundred years later – in the 1960s – the German Artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) formulated his concepts regarding the social, cultural and political function and potential of art. Motivated by a belief in the power of universal human creativity and confident in the potential for art to bring about revolutionary change, Beuys said:

“I not only want to stimulate people,
I want to provoke them.” (1)

Beuys’ art works and performances are not about entertaining and amusing the audience. It is an awakening message from the tradition, a recognition of the whole based upon a new concept of beauty that extends beyond the instant gratification. It is a movement from the tradition, the expected, and the established for an inclusive openness. (2)

Why Art? What does it mean to you? Self-expression, a career path, big business, a mean for problem solving or a way of communicating? All of the above or none at all? My art not only motivates me and gives me focus, it somehow supports my emotional intelligence and helps me to discover my own self.


SOURCES: (1) Bastian, Heines and Jeannot Simmen, “Interview with Joseph Beuys,” in the catalog exhibition, Joseph Beuys, Drawings, Victoria and Albert Museum, Westerham Press, 1983, no folio;  (2)