Why I Surround Myself With Art

I surround myself with art because I get overwhelmed by other people. More than you could possibly know; more than you could possibly imagine.

The artists who make the work I love have already spoken. I've invited them in. I've seen what they wanted me to see and felt what they wanted me to feel, and I loved it. So I brought them to me. I've placed them around me. I've asked for the dialog I have every time I look at one of those magnificent works. They're not near me there because they want something. Their statements aren't intended to manipulate me into feeling something. I'm not being asked to give my time, my attention, my money or my love in return for something promised or something owed. I'm not being asked for anything.

Instead, I get to do the asking. And every time, I'm rewarded. I ask that these beautiful works inspire me, and every time, they do. I ask that the artists who make them understand me, and every time I see their message, they do. I ask that they not hurt me. They don't; they uplift me. They don't overwhelm me. They don't request things. They don't lie. They don't cheat. They don't use their statements to place themselves above me. They don't look down at me.

They are just there. They are just beautiful. They are. And in the moments I look at them with awe and admiration, I am; for I see the potential we all have in us to inspire, to create and to endeavor. And that makes me aware of my own life and my own time. It makes me understand the nature of undertaking tasks simply to achieve them, nothing more.

When I am lied to; when I am bullied and manipulated and ignored and cast away, I look to art. Because art, among all the pain and suffering and the darkest aspects of our human experience, brings a light that shines on the beauty and majesty of the best of our nature.

I love art, because someone else loved an idea enough to bring it to life. I love that we can do that. And so naturally, I love the manifestations of that process. I love that the art speaks to me. I love that it never stops speaking to me. I love that what it says is always something I need and want to hear.

I surround myself with art because, when I feel most ugly, art makes me realize I am beautiful. When the world feels most dirty, art reminds me that it is capable of fantastic and wonderful messages. When I feel the chaos of the world I live in, art brings order and sanity. When I feel locked down and in a rut, art speaks to the wild and free aspects of me which break me out of it.

Art never makes me feel ugly. Art never makes me feel useless. Art never ignores me, even when I go weeks or months not paying attention to it.

Art is the voice that sings within us all; whenever we choose to listen to it.

(Painting by Lenoid Afremov)