Have you ever seen something wonderful in your city? When was the last time you saw something on the streets that brought a smile on your face and distracted you from the normal boring routine of life? Or have you ever seen a piece of art in a city that made you think and changed the course of your life?
As I have traveled around Europe for the last few years, I have been a witness to various works of art in our Parallel Cities – from Amsterdam to Brussels to Munich to Oslo to Budapest. A piece of art may amuse me and bring a smile on my face, or challenge and stimulate me to do something artistic of my own, or disgust me and make me uncomfortable for some reason.
A work of art always makes me wonder about the artist and what might be his/her purpose behind the creation. Or perhaps there is no purpose of a certain artwork, and the artist created it just for its own sake.
Our cities are like a canvas, in which we can find many such amazing works of art, whether done by renowned artists or by amateurs, which can add a bit of spark to our normal routine of life. Most often they are very easy to miss, and we might walk down a street without noticing them. But when we notice them, they can make us wonder in their simplicity and beauty.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton
When I feel the urge to photograph, write a poem, or to do anything creative, most of the times it is just to express myself. It does not have a reason behind it. Often I am as surprised as anyone else after seeing a poem I had just written or a photograph I just made. There are times when I have to make genuine effort to make art, while at other times I feel like art just flows out of me. It is a very strange feeling when that happens.
For me, creating art is also a way to disengage myself from the world, and have a few moments just for myself. All my worries and problems in life seem to drift apart when I am photographing or writing a poem. I am sure for other artists too, creating art is a way of playing with life, and an antidote to the insignificance and impermanence of our existence.
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ― Pablo Picasso
I believe all of us have the ability to create art. In fact, all of us do that as a child when we are just playing around with colors and paint. But somehow we forget that as we grow up, or the society around us makes us feel very significant to do something trivial like painting or drawing. Creating art seems like a waste of time, and we often have a tendency to hide our artistic output from the outside world due to the fear of shame or rejection.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso