Art and Reality

Learning to draw is a way of learning to think. At first we will tend to draw the idea of what we see, what we think we perceive, then as we observe and improve we will begin to be able to draw what we are actually able to perceive. A master will be able to draw what they intuit, they will draw something that seduces you into a particular way of perceiving that comes from direct individual experience.

Rather than reflecting objective ‘reality’ singular, these images show subjective realities of their own, ‘realities’ plural. They demonstrate what the German philosopher Husserl said: ‘all perception is gamble’. You can experience something of the reality tunnel of any good artist or musician or writer quite clearly through their work, you can experience a reflection of their way of observing, their particular gambles.

By practicing observation you can become very aware of your own preoccupations and taste, and from this the apperception of pattern as such. That is to say, the more you observe the way you observe your reality the more you will become aware that there are likely infinite ways to observe and so the possibilities for interpretation are endless, therefore knowledge itself appears infinite, as does its expression. It seems possible to become able to have some choice in the subjective reality you inhabit. If you don’t like the world you live in you can make attempts to change it by changing your taste and consciously choosing to observe differently.

Every great artist has been so because they noticed the world in a different way and they enabled others to notice this too. Observe that this is also what great philosophy and great spirituality does. We transform our perception and enable that transformation to ripple out from us. A work of art should at least expand the consciousness of the artist and at best alter the consciousness of those who perceive it.

We are born into particular times and places, brought up believing in the projections of our cultures and religions, in our gender, our economic status, our language, our social ‘reality’. We are enmeshed in works of art, we can be spellbound by our own taste and cultural aesthetics, or we can cast spells of our own and create our own worlds.


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