Is art a luxury or is it something we need right now?

heart rainbow painting by Artist BZTATIt would seem that enjoying art during the tumultuous times that we have experienced in recent days would be a luxury. Is art a luxury?

There is so much anguish and so many deep seated problems facing our culture right now. How does enjoying art fit with that?

First of all, art is not just for enjoyment. Art is a part of our culture – the expressive part – that gives image and voice to shared experiences.

Art can raise awareness and rally people to a cause. It can give us iconic images that reveal the nuances of an issue, and it can point out the incongruities in our purposes and actions. Without creative expression, social movements would likely blow away in the wind.

Even so, enjoying art simply for the sake of enjoying it is not frivolous either.

We need reprieves from the strife. Sometimes we need to turn off the news and enjoy quiet beauty to refresh our sense of goodness in the world.

And sometimes, buying a piece of art during a time of important change can bring more meaning to the moment when you look back upon it in the future.

Artist Gwen Seemel says art is not a luxury at all. In fact, it is an essential part of who we are, and we cannot live without it. I agree with her.

We spend considerable amounts of money on many things that are not absolutely necessary for survival. Because we consider these things as part of our daily lives, though, we do not consider these expenses frivolous. Cable TV. Video games and mobile apps. Stylish cloths. Home decor. Gardening and lawn care. Alcohol and snacks. The list goes on and on. We spend lots of money on a variety of items that we do not absolutely need.

But how often do we buy original art?

We experience art regardless of whether we purchase it outright. Often we consume art via television or other mass market publishing outlets to get our creativity fix. It costs more to buy original art directly from an artist, though, so we consider it a luxury.

Why is it more necessary to purchase things that are mass produced by corporations than it is to buy authentic creative expressions from an independent artist?

Watch the video below and see if you still think art is a luxury. And think again before you pass up that artwork you really love but think it is too much of a luxury for you.

The painting above is for sale. Regular price is $100, however, you may purchase it for $75 for a limited time. Discount ends Friday, July 15 at 12:00 AM EDT.

“Heart” $75.00 Acrylic Painting on Wood 12″ H x 16″ W US Shipping – $25 Intl – $45

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See other paintings by BZTAT for sale here.

Art is not a luxury. from Gwenn Seemel on Vimeo.

Life is an Adventure!