If ART is inspiring, then it appeals to that within me that is the most important of all things to me: my values. The various types of art viz. literature, music, painting, sculpture, dance, architecture, etc. are concrete expressions of abstract epistemological and metaphysical values. A work of art is limited by the nature of man’s senses and unlimited by his sense of life.
If ever there could be a school of art that I would happily subscribe to it would be “romantic realism”; where at the outset one would have embraced a benevolent universe premise to live one’s life. To begin, art then would perceptually be the exact same thing (the style, the theme, the plot, the characterization) though its interpretation would be conceptually different. Why romantic realism? What does it mean? Well, if one values reason, self-esteem, capitalism, ambition, pride, integrity, productivity one would believe that reality is knowable, objective, very concrete and benevolent. To such a man splashes of various colors on a canvas is not art, his rational mind would dump it instantly. It would say to him: most “abstract paintings”, for instance are NOT art; that such artists arbitrarily paint whatever they “feel” and THEN interpret it to the rest of the world; a good case in point, partially, would be Pablo Picasso.
Or the grotesque monstrosities that hit your everyday skyline – they’re still called buildings; or the “Bollywood dance” which is an eclectic, distorted fusion variant of several classical and modern dance art forms; or the “DJ Music” that copies and distorts the sheer melody and rhythm of the most enchanting music. These are examples not even of bad art; they are monstrosities – twisted and warped beyond the realm or rationality and reality. Or most of the movies that we come across today! An artist who would be a romantic realist would not want to portray human suffering as the theme of his work; it would be his endeavor to depict man’s life as it could be or ought to be; something to be admired, something that inspires him and his audience to achieve the best within himself and themselves.
A work of art must be whole, and must be judged as a whole. Abstract art pre-supposes that man is incapable to grasp or know reality directly, that he’s ignorant because he uses his faculty of reason, that he’s blind because he sees it with his eyes or hears it with his ears; and it pre-supposes that the true character of that work of abstract art is not accessible to him through his sensory perception; which assumes that reality has to be distorted for him in order for him to grasp it, and his eyes blinded and ears cut off for him to see or hear it!
There are very few works of art that can be classified as fitting within romantic realism, and yet there are some that are getting somewhere there or struggling to be there. It doesn’t matter; I like some of them, too. The reason: at least there is an attempt to break out of inane drivel and embrace the freedom of expression of one’s blurred, unclear belief in the benevolence of life; then even a Rihanna or David Guetta’s attempts at this – albeit few – are worth my while. And I’ll take the rare sheer power of a Christian Bale’s performance as Batman to Nolan’s whimsical direction, too. It wouldn’t compare to the breathtaking power of an Atlas Shrugged or the sheer poetry of a good Van Gogh, but…
Yep, I’ll take it!