What is an artist? [Thoughts] by Issa Dioume

The intrinsic flavour of freedom to the artists’ philosophy is interesting. Expression beyond normal understanding. Beauty that transcends reality’s view on it, detaches itself from it. Emancipation from the tedium of dull days full of toiling away , selling our bodies of clay for bread crumbs. A daunting attempt at evading the persistent pall and pangs of remorse through self expression.

Insipide is the life of the common man, made more so by a constant longing for sameness and invisibility. The artist is the polar opposite of this spectrum of conformity as he wishes to be seen as ‘different’. Not another of the same. Driven by this desire of dissimilarity he strives to show uniqueness in his artistic world. Mainly galvanised by a deep insatisfaction with reality as presented to him, the artist attempts to propose another reality, and -arrogant though it may seem- one of his own making. A daring challenge. To the creator. Or creations. Imposing another perspective of what the world could or should be.

But some do not search for difference and only do what comes naturally to them. What gives them pleasure and satisfaction, channeling all their energy into one focal idea. It can be as purposeless as simply doing without knowing why. Because they understand beauty as a whole. A universal concept that may apply to the ugly and the beautiful. Shedding the skin of the body of normality unbeknownst to him.

The artists’ role will not be limited to only that. He is also – through his defiance of accepted reality – a giver of hope. Through his mind he gives an idea of how the world could be when the current world is unsatisfactory for the population or makes them realise it is so. Bringer of hope and vision he lets the common men see that other is possible and should happen. Thus other becomes the norm as the common men adopt the other perspective and this society changes. An artist is no politician but solely the product of his own time and someone who attempts to clear the fog and find the way to lead humanity to a place of perfection or betterment. An artist finds beauty where all see pain and misery, he sees through the veil of lies and deception. A great masterpiece of the artist lies not in what his work says but in what his work does.

A writer writes, a painter paints, a singer sings, an actor acts and the artist dreams. Dreams a dream that he passes on in the form of art. Art is thought and dreams brought out of a mind and turned into concrete, visible matter. But what makes the artist great? Perhaps resonance with his time. Or art that echoes into futurity. An inherently iconoclastic nature? Breaking away from all that has been done.

9 thoughts on “What is an artist? [Thoughts] by Issa Dioume

  1. I like that “A great masterpiece of the artist lies not in what his work says but in what his work does.” And I like the pictures you use too!

    Liked by 1 person

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