25 Sep, 2020
Art has of enormous importance to society. And this is not something new. Art seems to be something inherent to human beings and it is difficult even to explain how it started. It seems that, somehow, the human species has always felt the need to express itself through art. The rock paintings are proof of it.
And there is no denying that society suffers a strong impact from art as it is also impacted by it. Take Egyptian art as an example.
Although it was strongly attached to religious purposes, the paintings’ traces were the reflection of an organized society, with rules and standards. In this specific case of Egyptian art, there was no room for creativity, only patterns. That’s why egyptian art is considered an anonymous art: there is no special trait or a painting style, but perfection in the execution of the techniques. Besides that, the dimension of the people and objects portrayed did not obey a relation of proportion and distance. Instead, the dimensions obeyed the hierarchical levels of that society. Therefore, Pharaoh was always the greatest among the other represented figures.
Another example of a society impacted by art can be found in Greece: The Greek Tragedies. The Greek Tragedy was the first theater genre originated in Greece. According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, tragedy was a genre that had the capacity to generate feelings experienced by the characters.
Theater was a crucial factor in the development of Greek society. There are three main playwrights of Greek tragedies: Aeschylus (“Prometheus in chains”, “The Persians” and “Agamemnon”); Sophocles (“Oedipus Rei”, “Antigone” and “Electra”); and lastly Euripides (“Medeia”, “As Troianas” and “As Bacantes”).
As we can see, there is a synergy between art and society. One intervenes in the other. Depending on the season, art will influence society or it will be influenced by social events. Throughout this text, we will see how art can be a tool of social impact.
Educating with art: what changes in practice?
Art can and should be a learning tool. Although it is part of our daily lives and we do not notice, teaching through art is certainly an excellent practice, from daycare centers to higher grades. Art has a wide variety of modalities, that is why it makes teaching more playful, expanding children and adolescents’ thoughts to a previously unknown universe.
Bertolt Brecht — german playwright, poet and director — has a wonderful phrase: “All arts contribute to the greatest of all arts: the art of living.” This phrase explains very well the fact that art, with its various modalities, contributes a lot to the formation of individuals in a society.
Through art it is possible to improve cognitive capacity, help in strengthening bonds and renew an individual's self-esteem. All these characteristics make art a great ally for a subject that we will talk about in this text: our health.
Art can give a new direction to many peoples lives, especially when it comes to childhood and adolescence, phases of personal and character formation. Let's try to exemplify it better.
Art is so versatile and plural that it is important in all spheres. It is important to study the art itself, as it is also extremely useful to teach other things through the arts. Check iy out! Think about how many seemingly complex subjects could become more understandable when transformed into music. An interesting way to make the content stick in mind, and a technique used in some countries around the world. Music is art and, therefore, it was an effective method to help in the learning of complicated names such as bryophytes, cytoplasm and deoxyribonucleic acid.
Art as an economic factor
In addition to any humanitarian issue involving art, there is also the economic factor. Art moves the economy. Whether through sales and auctions of major works such as paintings, sculptures and artifacts; as well as in the billion dollar music and cinema industry, which are second only to the game industry.
To get a glance of it, from July 2018 until June 2019, 284 millionaire auctions were held with more than 70 thousand works sold — more than 195 works sold daily. The annual results have on the podium Basquiat, Koons and Kaws which together share approximately 20% of the annual results, says the report by Artprice, a world reference company in the field of information on the art market.
The greatest proof that art is a lever for the economy was the crisis caused by the new coronavirus. The need for the consumption of arts such as films, TV shows and books, caused by social isolation, has increased the sale of these and other forms of arts. Staying home and not being able to consume art would be a real torture. In addition, the museums and galleries market took a big step in the incorporation of digital technologies, since many have used these resources to open their doors in a virtually way.
Art: a strong medicine
Facing an illness or any other health problem goes beyond the barrier of physical symptoms. The person can lose self-esteem, have an identity crisis, lose hope, emotions and so on.
The Healing Arts Program created by the Montefiore Health System at Albert Einstein College, located in New York, is a very important tool in the recovery of patients. Serving as a major driver in healing sick people.
There are studies claiming that the act of getting involved with any creative process is an important step in healing, well-being and in the recovery of our health. Therefore, art not only helps in treating sick people, it can also help prevent diseases. There are many people who use art in addition to psychological counseling to combat depression and other mind diseases
A practice that became very common in these periods of social isolation was musicians performing from their balconies to their neighbors, with concerts that rocked the residents from other buildings. Moments that will be remembered forever by people who had a dose of joy in such difficult times.
Now you understand how important art is in the most diverse fields of society. The impact on our lives is huge and we need to value even more every form of art that exists: painting, cinema, music or any other expression.
If you have any friend that is involved with art, value it! Whenever you can, share and exalt your friend's work. Art is one of the few certainties that we will have in the future. Because it is part of our life in such an intense way that there is no chance of thinking about life without thinking about art.
Supporting local artists is also a very good option. You don't have to abandon the great artists, but give it a try to your friend's band music; visit the art exhibition your friend; or buy drawings from illustrators near you. Art breathes and thanks every act of ours.
Finally, also support initiatives that seek to reduce social equality through art. Music, painting, dance or any other field of art that is a tool to change perspectives and broaden horizons for a more just society. Art is capable of that.