Art Vs. The Ego

This week was a good art week.  Nowadays what I mean by that is that I was able to maintain my center, staying detached from worries about grades, competition, impressing others, etc.  As someone who is making an honest effort to lead a spiritual life, I find that staying grounded is a full-time job.  It takes daily effort to stay detached from the petty concerns of the ego: adulation and praise, petty jealousy, unforgiveness, image-consciousness, etc.  These things also detract from the life of the Artist.

I watched a compelling documentary this weekend on the “war” between Banksy and King Robbo, the former a street artist and the latter a graffiti artist.  As they and their followers spent a good portion of their time and creative energies trying to hurt and outdo each other, less energy was available for their own artistic visions.  The tragic end to the story is that King Robbo ended up in a coma after being found in the street with head injuries, apparently suffering a fall while trying to destroy some of Banksy’s work.   The last I heard, he is still in recovery and is not able to talk.  He faces years of expensive rehabilitation.  Sadly, before the accident, he was beginning to be accepted by the art establishment and had just had a very successful exhibit.

Although this is an extreme example, it is also a perfect example of how the Ego makes fools of us all.  As artists we cannot waste precious creative energy on jealousy, bickering, comparing ourselves to others, or trying to detract from someone else’s work.  Art is like beauty.  While there is always someone who seems prettier than us at first glance, there is also no one else like us in the world.  True Beauty and true Art is complicated and multi-faceted.  Comparisons are a waste of time.  Our artistic Voices are unique and precious.  It is blasphemy to ignore, waste, or disparage that Voice.  Our talents are a gift from God; using those talents is our gift back to God.

Have a great week and go follow your bliss…

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