Artistic Freedom

Art is amazing.

Music, movies, paintings, photographs…

A song can transport you to a different place or a different time, change your mood, make you happy, even angry. A movie thrusts you into an unbelievable situation, yet compels you to believe it; you’re a soldier in World War II, you’re a pirate, a lover, the reluctant hero. You’re on a spaceship, a long time ago in a place far, far away.

Our natural reaction to art is to feel. Happy, sad, anxious, uplifted. When art is created, the artist invests emotion into the work of art. When we experience art, we experience that emotion. Art is like a sponge, absorbing emotion when it is created, releasing it when it is consumed. For a work of art to be effective, it must have a component of emotion.

It is this emotional requirement that ties art irrevocably to freedom. Without the freedom to pursue the craft of choice and produce the art of choice, the artist loses the incentive to invest emotion, the art becomes void of emotion, and fails to inspire emotion. In effect, art is no longer art. It is a thing, a commodity. Something produced without passion, without conviction, and presented without honor or expectation.

I am baffled by artists who politically side with those who diminish freedom. Do they not see where this path leads? Do they not see how every attack on freedom further narrows the distance between their ability to choose their craft and have that choice become conditional, or eliminated altogether?

Because I see artists supporting politicians who seek power and control, I wrote the following story to expose the dirty underbelly of government control, the rotten core of the leftist “utopia”. Is the story fiction? I don’t know. What concerns me is not whether it is fiction at this moment, but whether it might someday be reality…

Tears in White Powder

The weary old sculptor puts away his tools and shuffles out the door.

Waiting for the bus. Did he forget to lock up? He can’t remember.

On the bus. Heavy eyelids droop. He thinks about the stone.

Standing quietly, it waits for him to reveal the secret inside. Silence gives to hammer and chisel. Chipping, scraping, sanding. He runs his hands across the surface. They are covered with white powder, a remnant of the stone that concealed the beauty within.

He opens his eyes. Still on the bus. He remembers the visit from the woman.

She said there was no need for sculptors, but since he was good with his hands he could be a mechanic.

He looks down. His hands are black. Stained by a lifetime of grease and grime. He doesn’t use chisels on stone. He uses wrenches on rusty bolts, repairs flat tires, changes dirty oil.

He presses his hands to his face. He weeps.

His hands fall from his face. Tears have cut trails through white powder.

Finally.

He is free.

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