What is Art For?

What is Art For?

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Leonardo Da Vinci – Mona Lisa

More people than ever are discovering art
Hoping that somehow it might speak to their heart
They flock to the galleries and exhibitions
Showing concern for these human creations

I suppose art echoes the world that we see
Landscape painting reflects sward, field and tree
Wide vistas captured in one broad frame
Garden, loch, hill and valley laid plain

In portraits persons are the artist’s subject
Perhaps embellished for greater effect
The visage sometimes quite benign
Yet in others so severe and stern

No doubt some paintings are commissioned
By those wishing to project a vision
Of war or conquest, power and might
Or seeking compassion for their plight

Many paintings tell their story
Of ignominy or of glory
Battle scenes of blood and thunder
Ruthless slaughter shameful plunder

Of religion, art has been handmaiden
Faith thus promoted and awakened
To thousands not yet literate
Images, belief might inculcate

Painters help to promote a message
Of politics they can be expressive
Massacres, riots and protest marches
The downtrodden emerging from the darkness

The style which the artists have adopted
The means by which subjects are recorded
Evolved o’er many generations
Each era found its own expression

Colour and symbol played their part
Rendering meaning to the art
And by these signs hidden or overt
We comprehend a work of art

In successive generations
Art movements brought forth new creations
Impressionism, Expressionism, and Modernism
And in their day, Art Deco, Gothic and even Anti-realism

But does any of this answer the question posed
What is Art For? The motion I propose
Perhaps that phrase Art for Art’s Sake
The justification one might make

Art has survived for centuries untold
Tenaciously it still takes hold
Of hearts and minds and imagination
Existing for mankind’s salvation?

Ken Fisher

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Pablo Picasso – Guernica                                                        Gustav Klimt – The Kiss

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