In the West, the luminous colors of abstract expressionists titillate minds and tickle souls. Human creativity finds expression in the clothes we wear, the foods we eat, the books we read, the music we hear, and the movies we see. Video games and advertising compete for our attention. Our five senses feast on the endless daily stream of possibilities.
As a child I was good at math and science, and art was not a large part of my education. I was aware that others took art classes, or dance classes, or music classes - but my mind was focused elsewhere. It's only been in the last decade that I have come to realize how critical human creativity is to my life. It gives me the ability to express my spirit. It gives me the ability to use my imagination. It gives me the ability to grow beyond my limitations.
Trends and civilizations come and go, leaving a constant, continuing, evolving imprint on art and artists. Art wants to communicate. Creativity opens the eyes of those who follow blindly. Art restores sanity amid bloodshed. We use art and creativity to connect to others. We use artistic ideas to stretch our boundaries. When creativity is taken away, when art is destroyed, our spirit is diminished and part of our being ceases to exist.
History is full of stories of the destruction of art. Front page headlines proclaim the return of art pieces from the Getty Museum to Italy. What will happen to our world if art is not created, if human creativity is not encouraged?
Art is withering in Iran and Iraq, according to articles in the LA Times. Sculpture is considered idolatrous and the painting of a nude is considered an insult. The art galleries, if any are left, are dusty and filled with cobwebs. Car bombings, kidnappings, gunfights and mortar blasts litter the landscape of life. Check points have been established to ensure obedience to strict dress codes.
When there is no expression of the human imagination, what remains is violence and hatred. If art dies, we are robbed of our humanity. If the individual expression of human creativity is suppressed, what is left?