I know who I make art for, but I do not know how to connect and engage with them, I write this, in the vain hope that someone who reads this knows and can enlighten me.
I make art for the people, not for fame, not for myself, not for galleries and not for money. Unlike entertainment, sport, religion, politics, newspapers, fashion and corporations I do not give people what they want; instead I endeavour to create what I believe they need. Our society is created around the idea of want, and most places I look enforce that to a detrimental degree. Want is connected to passive happiness, which is immediate gratification that is connected to our body. Passive happiness is when an exterior force makes you feel good, it can be a compliment from someone you look up to, a Like on Facebook, good food, an orgasm and so on. Active happiness is what I try to give people; it is what I believe we need. Active happiness is a heightened sense of happiness that is connected to our mind, in the sense that we need to use our mind to achieve a perspective that heightens our experience. The fundamental difference between the two forms of happiness is that when one achieves active happiness one can gain pleasure from both forms, with passive happiness one cannot. My work is not created to trigger active happiness, if it did then it would be passive in nature, instead my work requires the viewer to actively look at it, to think about it, to reflect and engage with it. Secondly my work tries to encourage true exploration, not the simulacrum of it that society provides, but exploration that actually goes towards the unknown. I believe exploration is the purpose of our existence and that it leads to active happiness, it is only through this endeavor we can become all that we are. Passive happiness on the other hand is what enslaves us; it is what prevents us from seeking active happiness. The biggest problem is that passive happiness has been commodified, we are constantly told that if we have this or that we will be happy, ironically when we get it, that happiness experienced is temporary, it slips through our fingers like sand. One needs nothing to experience active happiness, all one needs is to achieve a certain perspective. However I believe for us that are born in this society, achieving that perspective is immensely difficult, one needs to turn everything one knows on it’s head and reject our overwhelming desire for passive happiness. I have seen active happiness, but I have not reached the point where I can hold on to it, nevertheless every day I struggle towards it, trying to avoid the snares of passive happiness and encourage everyone else to join me in that endeavor, because I believe in my hart that for humanity to survive in to the distant future and for us to evolve towards beings in harmony with ourselves and the universe than that is the path we must take. The path of passive happiness, that I believe society has put us on, is rapidly leading us to our own extinction and or regression.
Tell me this dear reader, how do I touch the hart of people that only know passive happiness, how do I tell them that there is more to life than passive happiness, how do I tell them that it is worth their time, how can I tell them all this when they cannot perceive the colors in which I have painted my work?
How do I communicate my thoughts without preaching, how do I convey that the beauty of my work does not lay in it’s surface, but in it’s intention. How do I tell them that my work is not about aesthetics, spectacle, concepts, culture, fashion or current affairs, but that it is about actively engaging with the artwork I create, either through reflection or exploration?
My work is an attempt to create inspiration, encouragement and contemplation towards fulfilling the potential that is in every one of us.
happiness cannot be bought it can only be discovered.
Passive happiness is not sinful, bad or wrong. It is like a hunting rifle, it can help sustain you by putting food on the table or it can be misused in a way that damages. It must be said that only knowing passive happiness is like giving a loaded gun to a baby.
By achieving active happiness I believe one will never intentionally or accidentally be able to misuses passive happiness in a way that damages yourself, or is destructive towards the balance of our surroundings.
Active happiness needs to be learnt, not that you need a teacher, but in the way that you must reflect, think and explore yourself and your emotions.
In conclusion by knowing active happiness one can safely enjoy passive happiness and experience a heightened sense of it. Further more by knowing active happiness one is able to find pleasure in everything, as one is able to perceive beyond the immediate, the preconceived and the physical.