Pandemonium usually follows after global epidemics and catastrophe, and artists and designers come to the rescue with all sorts of antidotes. - written by Samuel Alexander
Are artists really applying themselves to bringing splendor into the world or are creative’s solution-driven? Form follows function, function follows form, function follows function, form follows form? Is the creative industry so focused on jumping on the next bandwagon to sound and appear relevant or is designing the bandwagon enticing, eliciting, and intriguing minds to new concepts the tactic that should be adopted?
There was a time in history when artists produced work, not for money, fame nor fortune but to contribute to a greater creative collective. Has the 21st-century creator become so obsessed with marketing traction that it has forgotten the staying power of Michelangelo, Henry Van Gogh, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Gehry just to name a few?
A creator, artist, designer, visual communicator, or whichever preferable branding is striking enough, should be crafting work that it is so distinct in style, timeless in execution, and informative in aesthetic.
History.com editors Amanda Onion, Missy Sullivan, and Matt Mullen published an article on Michelangelo articulating, ”At 13, Michelangelo was apprenticed to painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, particularly known for his murals. A year later, his talent drew the attention of Florence’s leading citizen and art patron, Lorenzo de’ Medici, who enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of being surrounded by the city’s most literate, poetic, and talented men. He extended an invitation to Michelangelo to reside in a room of his palatial home. Michelangelo learned from and was inspired by the scholars and writers in Lorenzo’s intellectual circle, and his later work would forever be informed by what he learned about philosophy and politics in those years. While staying in the Medici home, he also refined his technique under the tutelage of Bertoldo di Giovanni, keeper of Lorenzo’s collection of ancient Roman sculptures and a noted sculptor himself. Although Michelangelo expressed his genius in many media, he would always consider himself a sculptor first.”(A. Onion, M. Sullivan, M. Mullen, 2019). Here one can appreciate that art eons ago was not based on likability, trend nor advertising however based on intellect, politics, philosophy and with superficial research, psychology which informed great works that the school of artists cling to so dearly academically but loosely grip when researching the execution of a project.
Are artistic minds more solution-driven that fundamentals of art are negated and the source on which creations should be based? A brief is always outlined to set boundaries for any given task, be it in 1501 when David was sculptured by Michelangelo or 2012 when Zaha Hadid designed Floating Staircase. The boundary is not to limit the thinking of the creative but to guide, inspire and be a catalyst to the creative process that could produce work that results in the ageless elucidation of what genius art and design look like.
A world where pandemic and disaster give rise to design is a bleak outcome. Creativity should exist outside of pandemonium so that when devastation does surface, creatives are so equipped to enlighten their audiences that pandemics and disaster do not inform art, rather that art brings to light the hope and regeneration of what once appeared as a bleak ending to a sad story.