The Different Masks of Art
Posted on January 28, 2023
Cover Image Title: Kindness
Cover Image by: Meghan Zhang
Specification: Resized from its original size of 3000 x 2000 pixels, 300 dpi
Who are we to decide that art is limited to sculptures and paintings? Feels like an effortless way of thinking about art, right? Art is only what we can see. Only what can we touch? No. Turn on the light, open your eyes, and broaden your horizons. Art is all around us. Art lives in the strangers we smile at on the bus, in the stripes on a mighty tiger, and in single strands of thread that hug together to make up a hijab to name a few.
Not all art can be displayed beneath glass or hung up in a living room. An example of this is music. This is a form of art that you can feel in your bones, goosebumps crawling on your skin, your head nodding off to the beat, and you let loose with the right song.
That beautiful dress your aunt got you on your 16th birthday. It fits you right with just enough wiggle room to dance with your friends. The flow of the dress and the skirt of your dress blossom as you swirl. This form of art has the power to make us feel powerful. With the clothes we wear, we can express ourselves. With the clothes we wear, we can change how we feel, sometimes temporarily, but still changed. Black, blue, purple, yellow, beige, pink, ombre. Your choice. Lace, fuzzy, tight, loose, oversized, fishnet, low rise, casual. You choose.
The kindness of others on your bad days and the empathetic smile they beam at you. Kindness is an art we don’t talk much about, yet we have all likely experienced it, even if just a glimmer. Kindness is a broad form of art. It can be shown in diverse ways and felt differently depending on how much we have experienced it. Kindness is art so universal.
Crying. Art can be an action too; it can be dark. The silent cry, the devastated cry, the hopeless cry, the afraid cry. This art is intense. This art can draw in so many emotions at once or hone in on just one. A loss of a soccer game, a rejection letter, or feeling out of tune with the world. Although, for as long as I have known, crying can also be the result of being happy. At a sibling’s wedding, on your graduation day, or seeing a childhood friend for the first time in 10 years.
Food. An art we can disassemble and let our teeth and stomach acid destroy because that is where the real art lies, the way it tastes. Of course, presentation matters too, but the bull’s eye is in the way it pleases your tastebuds. Food is an art that can bring people together. It can be hot, cold, or room temperature; sometimes, it can hurt you. Food is incredibly powerful. The lack of it can kill you, the smell can bring you out of your room, and the wrong kind can make you break out in hives. Another form of art that is universal.
Dangerous. This type of art you cannot touch unless you are a professional or crazy. This type of art you can only look at from afar. Wild cats are beautiful. Their sharp patterns and their similarity to our own domestic cats. The stripes on a tiger, spots on a leopard, the sleek black fur on a black panther. These cats have beaming eyes. Some of them even look like they have eyeliner on, making them pop even more than they do.
Art can be so many things, take on many forms, and wear various masks. The examples above barely touch the surface. You do not have to go to museums to look at art; all you need are your eyes. Every turn of the head is a masterpiece waiting to be appreciated.
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