Last week I was in a waiting room, leafing through magazines when my eye fell on an article about the movie Avatar. A social historian commentened on how the movie symbolizes and criticizes colonization. To that comment a politician replied about art as an effective instrument in social criticism. A comment that warmed my heart:
“It is the job of artists to lay barren our shortcomings and to develop visions of how we can do it better. … In our culture images are an utterly suitable medium in which to wrap an engaged message for the reach of images is far greater than that of other art forms.”
(- Herman Wijffels, IS, april 2010)
And with these lines, he said exactly how I feel about me being an artist. I am not an artist in the line of Van Gogh and Toulouse de Lautrec. I am not highly gifted or especially talented where artistic skills are concerned. Not even superduper original. But I am more than average aware of what goes on in this world and I see more of the things that go wrong. I don’t watch out for it. I simply see it. And in my work, it is my passion to spread a message; to tell humanity where things go wrong and how we should get back to being human. In MY humble opinion. I made paintings and journal pages about terrible news items that struck me. And the whole essence for me of teaching Art Journalling, is that I feel that the toothpaste-smile era should come to an end. No more plastic fantastic, but being genuine and authentic. No more commerce, but addressing people to their real needs and desires. It is in my art that I express what I see and it is in my work that I try to help others see it too – even if it’s only a glimpse of it.