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Omphaloskepsis Blog

Regarding the artist, purpose and spirituality.

May 11, 2011

Kandinsky.jpgWassily Kandinsky, Pleasures, 1151 x 1062 cm

The confluence of three things: My own ruminations. The shared opinions of a friend. And recent readings. Consider ways the artist serves the community at large, what purpose an artist has and gives, merely by dedicating their lives to their work-a poet, like Heather McHugh, who has spent her life understanding rhythm and sound of language and words (and their meanings). The intense beauty and multi-dimensionality of the work she creates is a great gift to all, but her “self” also serves a unique and important function within the community of...the human race. And, according her her recent Stranger article, “There Is a There There.” She, herself is validated, stirred, and inspired by artists living - and dead more than 1000 years - as great art and artists will continue to do.

The Native American Cherokee and Seneca have seven sacred paths of human initiation and transformation. The first path of transformation is the East Direction where we are suddenly awakened to the realization that we have a purpose in life and that we choose to serve humanity. (1)

Artists (but not exclusively) are living their purpose and remind others by example that they also have a purpose to awaken to.

Here is what Kandinsky wrote on the subject: The artist has a triple responsibility to the non-artists: (1) He must repay the talent which he has; (2) his deeds, feelings, and thoughts, as those of every man, create a spiritual atmosphere which is either pure or poisonous. (3) These deeds and thoughts are materials for his creations, which themselves exercise influence on the spiritual atmosphere. The artist is not only a king, as Peladan says, because he has great power, but also because he has great duties. (2)

1. Jamie Sams, Dancing the Dream, HarperCollins, NY, 1998.
2. Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Dover, NY, 1977

Category: Philosophy

Please add a comment

Posted by Darsy on
I was thinking about the purpose that an artist has when developing his/her work, because I'm still trying to find mine, and it's difficult to create something strong if you're aiming at nothing.

Thank you for this post! ;)
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