Why Art?

This mornings New York Times’ Science section has great article : “The Dance of Evolution, or How Art Got Its Start” by Natalie Angier. She takes up Ellen Dissanayake’s thesis that art “did not arise to spotlight the few, but rather to summon the many”. Dissanayake goes on to say: “Through singing, dancing, painting, telling fables of neurotic mobsters who visit psychiatrists, and otherwise engaging in what Ms. Dissanayake calls ‘artifying,’ people can be quickly and ebulliently drawn together, and even strangers persuaded to treat one another as kin.”

I say- Yes! And I say that this idea goes a long way to explain the friction and dissonance between art’s core and the exclusivity that many have and are trying to extract from art. It is such a shame that artists are forced to hang on to the hierarchical stratifications imposed on them by galleries and dealers just to be able to survive when art is so conducive to healing so much of the social fragmentation resulting from late 20th century materialism. Art grows from the roots of the mother-infant bond according to Dissanayake and others. Traditional and early cultures benefited from nurturing this primal power. Should we not as well?

Todd by Johanna

My mother painting

Me

As I lay in her womb.

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