The art market, like every other industry in the world, is suffering right now. Galleries, framers, and museums are businesses just like any other. People are scared and nervous and the world seems to be holding its collective breath. Yet, in times like these, art is our salvation. It is the essence of the human experience and can make the world warmer and kinder when times are tough.
Great art is born in times of strife. Human expression bursts at the seams when the soul is put to the test. In prosperous times art often becomes parody, a collective smirk of self-satisfaction. While all art of all times has meaning, there is a depth to art that is made in days of trial that reaches deeper places of the spirit. We make art during difficult days because we need to do so. We have no choice. We see, we feel, and therefore we participate in a collective dialog. It counteracts the hysteria and swirling knee-jerk reaction to just about everything.
In times like these, the world needs its artists. And everyone, everywhere, has the artist inside. I predict that this time of economic turmoil will result in a great period of artistic expression at which we will marvel once we begin to see the light. Make art. The world needs it right now.
Today's image was taken at the Rialto Market in Venice some years ago. The support columns in the market consist of these characters in stone, ever bearing the load of the building above them. I often wonder why the artists of that day used this motif so often. Were they feeling the collective burden of life in that day? The expression of pain and exertion is now frozen in time, a reminder to us that times have always been difficult, that trials are a necessary part of human existence.