The Role of the Artist

Entitled Faith, this is a photograph depicting a life-size marble sculpture of a male torso with a crack running lengthwise through the middle, created by sculptor Blake Ward

What is the role of the artist?

Art is where we discover and express our humanity, it is here that we find a language to share our ideas and emotions.

We look to the artist to convert our world into an image of something better, and it is within this imaginative transformation that we find hope and rejuvenation.

The artist can show us a world as it might be, he/she can offer possibilities, inspiring and encouraging, offering a truth that addresses both the mind and the heart and helps our understanding.

The artist may go so far as to imagine a remedy, or advocate action as a catalyst for advancement, or a vehicle for dialogue and education.

The role of the artist includes the position of activist, as described by the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, who wrote of the rebellious potential of the imagination, with its ability to generate new ideas and to view the familiar in a new manner.

“Art is subversive because it reminds people of what has been buried.” He said.

Dr. Marcuse defined two conditions that were required of art;

“First art has a responsibility to help society deal with its conflicts and contradictions” and secondly that, “the artwork must embody hope, the human ability to imagine what doesn’t exist and give it shape.”

By Boky and Blake