… several basic assumptions I have about the need for authenticity:
- Because in the end there is no other kind of art.
- I could have used the word ‘originality,” rather than authenticity, if the word’s root in “origin,” as in, “from the depth or source,” is recognized. However, the word implies a certain newness, “never done before,” that authenticity does not, and art in general does not need, in order to be deeply personal.
- Something that is authentic “rings true” for us. It comes from an inner truth. We draw from a source that is inner-directed rather than outer-directed, to use Maslow’s expression about self-actualization.
- Creating work that is authentic has a sacredness about it. It may be a way out – a small way perhaps, but at least a personal way – of a social dynamic that is all economics, consumerism, greed, and disregard for inner life. The word “science” comes from a root meaning “to separate.” Our cultural world view has been deeply influenced by that. Anything that we come to authentically in our artistic expression demands a personal inner synthesis. It is experience and insight won firsthand. The more we assimilate our “experience” from the advertising/media/consumer/government perspective the less authentic it will be.
- Most of what we express creatively is prelinguistic. The deeper insights are obviously coming from somewhere. They are not logically structured in the mind, but it may take logic to get them expressed.
- Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to the world if you paint or dance or write. The world can probably get by without your efforts. But that is not the point. The point is what the inner process of following your creative process will do, to you. It is clearly abut process. Love the work, love the process. Our fascination will pull our attention forward. That, also, will fascinate the viewer.
Ian Roberts in Creative Authenticity: 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision
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What stops us in our tracks? I am rarely stopped by something or someone I can instantly know. In fact, I have always been attracted to the challenge of getting to know what I cannot instantly categorize or dismiss, whether an actor’s presence, a painting, a piece of music, or a personal relationship. It is the journey towards the object of attraction that interests me. We stand in relation to one another. We long for the relationships that will change our vistas. Attraction is an invitation to an evanescent journey, to a new way of experiencing life or perceiving reality.
An authentic work of art embodies intense energy. It demands response. You can either avoid it, shut it out, or meet it and tussle. It contains attractive and complicated energy fields and a logic all its own. It does not create desire or movement in the receiver, rather it engenders what James Joyce labeled ‘aesthetic arrest.’ You are stopped in your tracks. You cannot easily walk by it and go on with your life. You find yourself in relation to something that you cannot readily dismiss.
Anne Bogart in A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theater
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