How to create art that is timeless? I think it must represent the eternal and universal. In my endless mission to create more meaningful work that transcends cultures and borders, I went back to a few philosophers for guidance.
Although it appears that Arthur Schopenhauer was a cynical sexist asshole, he had some interesting thoughts about art:
The deliverance of knowledge from servitude to the will, the forgetting of the individual self and its material interest, the elevation of the mind to the will-less contemplation of truth, is the function of art.
A work of art is successful in proportion as it suggests the Platonic Idea, or universal, of the group to which a represented object belongs. The portrait of a man must aim, therefore, not at photographic fidelity, but at exposing, as far as possible, through one figure, some essential or universal quality of man.
For example, tragedy may take an esthetic value, by delivering us from the strife of the individual will, and enabling us to see our suffering in a larger view. Art alleviates the ills of life by showing us the eternal and universal behind the transitory and the individual.
The title of this painting is Tell Us Where The World Went. Over the summer of 2017, I camped in and just outside of Yosemite with some friends. I took a photo of them and used it as a reference for this painting. Only a few days after we left, a huge fire broke out and destroyed the area and thousands of acres and homes. The year 2017 is going to prove devastating with regard to wildfires.
Note: The title of this piece comes from a line in The Road by Cormac McCarthy, p. 166.