Since the beginning artists have been like antennae of society, catching everything that is happening around them, or across the globe, and translating it into something beautiful and current. Events happening all around the world, good or bad, serve as inspiration for art and become a driving force behind it. As artists we have to be the polymaths of current events, news, and culture. We decide, with our work, where society is headed. We bring ideas and events to the public and display them in ways that may be provocative, subtle, subversive, or very plain in nature.
Many that become artists do not realize the power that they wield with the stroke of a brush, the creation of a simple poster, or a public piece of sculpture. It affects people; it makes them aware and thoughtful. By simply choosing something that you feel is overlooked in the news and creating something from it, you might be able to call attention to a groundbreaking event. Artists have the power to make the public aware. We have the power to make people stop and think. Many of the greats before us have done it with situations such as World War II or the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.
The world is more complex and there are more things, both good and bad, happening now than ever before. It saddens me that I don’t see or read about many artists that are really out there on the front lines, causing a raucous, pushing the boundaries. I am constantly hearing about how society has degraded and how the youth of today is not like what it once was in past generations, so why do we not move to change it? Art and its creators have had the power all along to make great strides and cultivate a better world. We do not become artists to keep quiet and color inside of the lines. We become artists to make amazing advancements and to make sure our voices are heard.