Monday, August 1, 2016

More on Art and Seattle and that Which Moves Us

I recently came back and posted about a trip to the western part of Washington state. In the trip my partner and I managed to visit the wilds of Olympic National Park and even touched up on the great metropolis of Seattle [1]. I want to talk about Seattle and how seeing art there was a breath of fresh air. I think I mentioned how I saw simplistic graffiti in the form of "'All Lies Matter'—Trump", an innovative way to make a statement about our first, truly, post-modern presidential candidate. But let me instead focus on the different types of art I saw, what they signified to me—and others and the artist. 
Street Art in Seattle 
I recently discussed how much I loved street art over the kind one finds in a museum, but I failed to mention how the latter kind of art still plays a part in inspiring me—especially the contemporary art. In the SAM (Seattle Art Museum) I enjoyed seeing not only a lot of contemporary art but art from around the world.
Aborigine Art in SAM
The Aborigine art I saw, was especially inspiring. Much of it spoke of myths or of where water could be found and so forth. The idea here is that art is more than just something aesthetic, but can represent so much more. I've also read about African Art and how it too can use abstract pieces to tell a story or store information. All very interesting and it certainly breaks down the walls that try to hold art within a constricting definition. [2] 

Aborigine Art (this one representing the lines left over from rainwater. 
This isn't to say much about the pieces other than how they pushed me to think of art as something different. In other words, an ode to museums everywhere that inspire. And to also say that street art alone doesn't complete the idea of art, even if it contributes much to it. 

Print seen in an Art Gallery
I'll even mention the art galleries I visited and how they too were very interesting and inspiring. But in the end they didn't seem so thought-provoking, leaning more to the aesthetic than anything else. But that too has its place under the umbrella of art.  
Heart shaped Teapot in Art Gallery
But, after all the art I had to stop and think about the building of the Seattle Public Library I enjoyed so much. Though, of course, the building housed many books of lasting import, there was a sterility to it that did not speak to the humans that used the building. What am I trying to say?
More Views from Seattle Public Library
You see, my main point is that a library so beautiful and vast and that claims to serve the people needs a place for street art. I'll note that it has plenty of art from approved artists, and though this kind of art is important, I wonder if they're missing out by not allowing the patrons to draw some art on the walls. Now, I'm not saying that everyone should be allowed to write anything on any wall, but what about some select walls? 

Thing is, I'm still of the mind that trying to keep art to only certain places with certain topics or from certain people is more than artificial. Certainly there can be official places for art. But there also needs to be other places for it. And it should be allowed wherever it can (and without permission). [3]
After all, what is art? It's an expression of the human soul, a form of communication between us all. So should it not be allowed in more places? I think so, but I'd like to know what people think on this matter.

[1] Though my issues with this city were as strong as ever, being that it seems that it too has a minimal public transport system. Buses, sure, but what else? And like many American cities it seems to be more and more 3rd world in the sense that it has meekly accepted traffic snarls or stau as part of life instead of finding a proper solution for it.

[2] And yet the argument would be, what do I really get out of these stories other than another aesthetic?

[3] I'm thinking now of the tall park bench I saw, too high for anyone to even touch, and how the sign that said "1%" seemed to speak volumes about our society today. Not that all art should say something political. This piece was emplaced without permission and duly removed. Sad, that. 

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