Wednesday, August 31

Artist as Communicator

A Watercolor  of Mine on Twitter
I got to thinking about why art:

a) speaks to (most of) us

b) is found in all civilizations

c) evokes a response

d) is important to us

e) all of the above

It’s because art is a form of communication. Although it’s not specifically called out on Maslow’s Heirarchy chart, it should be right up there with social needs and esteem, in my humble opinion.

Communication at its most basic is nothing more than information sent from a sender and received by a receiver.

An artist (the sender) renders an image in 2D or 3D that the viewer (the receiver) sees. What could be simpler than that?

By that definition, art is a form of communication—visual communication. Nothing in communication theory limits what the information may or may not be (or contain). Therefore art, in all its forms, can be included as communication along with Gutenberg’s bible, a tweet from Twitter, or a simple hello or good-bye between friends.

I suppose most artists don’t think of themselves as communicators, at least not primarily. Primarily they see themselves as artists first.   

But they are communicators. And art (in all its forms) does two things, if nothing else. It makes us feel something, and that, in turn, makes us human. And those, in my book, are the most important ways an artist communicates.

Yes, we can communicate without art, but why limit it?

Happy Painting!

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