I’m moving soon, and part of that moving means re-evaluating the decor in my home. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of visual arts that embrace the negative – women in tears, sarcastic comments posters and even T-shirts, even too much in the way of dark colors. As I choose materials for my dwelling/workplace, I am constantly asking myself the question: do I want to bring this energy into my home?
The answer, despite my personal aesthetics, is often no rather than yes. It’s a complicated issue, since I do support local and independent artists, and many of them are creating art that reflects the pall cast across creative communities since 2000. I want to support some great artists, but when their expressive moods leads them to build images of darkness or print up sarcastic and mean-spirited commentary pieces, I just can’t embrace it. This is putting me in conflict with my peers, who are often giggling over T-shirts that say horrible things in various languages or who pride themselves on their sarcasm and cynicism. ((I have had a reputation for sarcasm since I was 13. It was wholly undeserved at 13, and while more deserved now, it tells me that a lot of people still mistake genuine intelligence and blunt honesty for sarcasm.))
Art is magical energy embodies in a physical form; that energy can still be positive or negative, and usually can be seen pretty plainly upon examining the object – or from looking for what the artist has named it. So when I see a beautiful piece in layers of reds with wonderful textures, and I’m about to fish into my savings for it, and I see it labeled “Murder” I pretty much put my pocketbook away. I do not want to bring that turmoil into my home.
I’m not suggesting artists restrict their muse – there are some things that need to be said, and the only way to get the message across requires expression beyond the verbal. Art has long been about awareness-raising, but awareness-raising is not and never has been a form of reality creation, and that’s what I’m about: I already know what is. I know what’s wrong. But I want to make something right. That’s where positive energy creation – positive thinking, as it were – begins. This isn’t about painting puppies and rainbows and the world will be all better; it’s about starting with your version of puppies and rainbows at home and allowing it to become the first layer of the reality you want to create. It’s about having that positivity well of the home around you to draw upon as you confront life’s challenges in a proactive manner rather than a reactive one.
The images and objects we surround ourselves with have a profound impact on our psyche, and our psyche has a profound impact on our health. So when I’m choosing everything from a mouse pad to a shower curtain, I’m actually thinking about the daily imprint I want to leave on my brain, especially since that imprint will result in magical activity and personal creative expression.
I will opt, probably, for something other than puppies and rainbows. And I fully expect to have to do a whole lot of scrubbing, no matter what I hang on the walls.