Pearls from artists* # 324
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
“The artist is the creator of beautiful things.” From [Immanuel] Kant’s perspective on conventional beauty, [Oscar] Wilde’s definition would seem to demote artists to a cosmetic role, turning them, as William Irwin Thompson said, into “the interior decorators of Plato’s cave.” On the other hand, under the terms of a radical beauty that brings forth the Real instead of pacifying us with delusions of “realism,” Wilde’s line can help restore art to its shamanic source in our minds. Perhaps it would have been better if Wilde had defined the artist as the creator of numinous things – of enchanted objects, omens, or talismans. Because if there is one thing that all beautiful things share, it is that they are all symbols. They are all transmissions from another plane of existence.
It is one thing to acknowledge the Beautiful as an objective property of the phenomenal world. It is another to stop and listen to what it has to say.
J.F. Martel in Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice: A Treatise, Critique, and Call to Action
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