The Journey of Art in Times of War - Page 3
For me, artists do have an obligation to create something that delivers war in a form that is easier to digest than raw statistical data, corporate news or political spin, but, as I wrote earlier, it may not matter if an artist feels obliged, because the idea of obligation or duty for the artist during wartime might actually be unconscious and therefore the art rendered will naturally capture these emotions without being obligatory.
Many works of art throughout history have given us the strength, the compass, if you will, with which to direct ourselves away from the gloom and doom of war and into a realm of deeper thought. Yes. It has shown us heroes and valiant chivalry and, in some cases, been the only actual depictions or accounts of certain battles. But art has also shown us the evil, the torture, the grave human toll, the mass murder, and the wrongheadedness of many, if not most, wars throughout history. I would also proffer that art is history. It may not actually give us the "facts" of a particular war or battle, but it most assuredly leaves an emotional account of the mood of us humans before, during and after. In many instances art joins us in the our collective breath and with the same involuntary human response to war.
Let us then hope that peace might soon begin its own unconscious journey within us.
(Top artwork by Ben Heine)