Writings / Essay: Mykyta Isagulov

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Art, Mirrors and the Divine

The prominent writer, teacher and religion philosopher Neville Goddard (1905-72) started his 1969 essay, “The Artist is God” with the following phrase: “God is the great artist, and there is no artistry so lovely as that which perfects itself in the making of its image.” The postmodernism of the twenty-first century champions that idea extensively – every artist is a bit of a god. This sentiment is promoted amongst artists, while every art connoisseur seem to think the same. Who else but a god’s messenger can bring into our world so many works of art, simple and complex at the same time, intriguing, provocative and fascinating, terrible and terrific. Artists depict whatever they wish – good or bad, evil or kind – and in the limitless variety of the possible topics to choose from, they become true gods and druids of the divine in art.

Generally conceived, the world of the arts is far more complex than we imagine. This is because the aesthetic permeates the most or, seemingly, least artistic of our daily activities and is an inseparable part of the human experience. This is what motivates activities as apparently disparate as a million dollar masterpiece purchase or everyday events like cooking, socialising, loving, living. Moreover, art is a mirror that reflects our world and in which our word is reflected. That mirror has various forms or shapes – musical sounds, paints, words, dance movements, and so on.

Following the words of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) that “it’s the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors,” one may conclude that life or lived experience is given its quality by the kinds of people – spectators – in the world. It also means that an artist who creates artworks – music, painting or a novel – that is attuned to the inner worlds of the spectator, becomes a true god. Every brush stroke, every sentence, every sound enabling people to think, feel, analyse and reflect through the whole work of a given artist equals the human essence which shapes consciousness and, our world. Consequently, the artist becomes a mirror, in which everyone finds their own interpretation and reflexion of the universe as re-presented through the subjective prism of the artist’s self-reflexion. The outcome is that every art spectator’s thought and perception is refined twice and is born two times – through the work of the artist-creator and through the spectator’s own subjective and artistic reflective prism as shaped by their worldviews, educational background, or personal philosophy.

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