The Role of the Artist in Society
Pictured Here: Modern Day Shaman by Jesse Van Hoorn, Acrylic on Wood, 18"x24", 2017
It is easy, in a society such as ours, for the artist to feel forgotten, neglected, unimportant, marginalized. When all has been commodified, indeed validated by its ability to be commodified, the artist often feels peripheral to the carnival, left out in the cold.
Through this bleak environment, the artist must trudge, undaunted. And maintain a fixation on that inner vision which propels them. For the artist plays a great role in any society, though that role may be diminished by many whose eyes, by no fault of their own, are fixed solely on dollar signs.
The artist, whether acknowledging it openly, or subconsciously, through their action serves to offer a kind of medicine to the people. This medicine, is not for the body, but for the soul, for the spirit, and offers a connection to that unseen realm. The artist acts as spiritual doctor, medicine man, indeed a shaman of energetic espousal. The artist, so realized, can enable brief moments of clarity for the masses, though individually experienced, the artist through image evokes a feeling, not of mental calculation, but of emotional reaction and psychic memory.
We connect others to the unseen realm. We connect society to its shadow and its light. We show the beauty in the ashes, the phoenix rising from the rubble. We openly share our vision with any possessing eyes to see it, and occasionally delight in the circumstance of the unexpected awakening of another.
We spend time not in offices, or cubicles, but bent over ideas, philosophies, imagery, gestural motion. We toil with color, shape, texture, hue, we consider balance, we keep irregular hours, whimsical in our approach, to conduct an energetic symphony, a hope to heal the masses.