Gubbart staff reports and views: Steve Ladd on the moving power of art…
When art is made with great care and devotion it becomes a passage into and out of one’s life, not only for the artist who creates it but also for the person who sees it. Other things in life transport us too. Food is a ticket to the future, a good dinner will get you to tomorrow. A car carries one to work, to the grocery store, to a friend’s house. An airplane flies one to another city or country. But compared to art these are temporary modes of travel. Another dinner will soon be needed, the car will wear out and have to be replaced, the plane flight must end. But a genuine work of art never stops taking you to another state of mind, to another place in the heart. Since the dawn of human history art has been transporting people’s spirits like magic into new realms of experience. Art still has that power to move us.
In this last century civilization has produced a glut of things and images, most of which are disposable and not made or meant to last, so it’s more difficult now to discern between art with eternal qualites and trash, between something that takes our spirits to another dimension or something that we haul to the dump. People watch tv and film a lot, it’s their main vehicle for mental travel. Movies move humans, so much so that still works of art tend to become static objects in their minds. But it’s not painting and sculpture that have lost the power to move people, people have lost the will and the wish to see that power. To them, if an object doesn’t move, it’s not moving. But as Willie Nelson sings: “Still is still moving to me.” And that sentiment gets to the heart of art. A painting done with love, excitement, risk, and imagination, can be a magic carpet ride to truth and beauty,…to a new raw truth or to ancients truths, to a fresh new beauty or to timeless beauty. And if one has a work of art like that in his or her home, that wonderful ride can be taken any time. We need not look at a picture on our wall every single day to be carried along by it because art moves with us through our days, changing as we change, and can be seen anew throughout the phases of our lives, and then be passed on like a lit torch from one generation to the next.
I know that most folks prefer to spend their hard-earned money on a dinner out, a better cell phone, a new car, or on that much anticipated vacation to Hawaii. But I sumbit that there’s tremendous value in buying and owning art too, especially “…one of a kind…” art as Gubbart’s own Mike Lee describes the works on our website. If you had one of his knives you’d be transported back 10,000 years to a time when tools were vital to one’s existance and made with utmost care, concentration, and honor. Or if you’ve ever taken a walk or a train ride at night and watched the landscape flow by and seen a brief flashing scene that you wish you could remember, then Ben Aubert has painted such illuminating flashes for you. And if you’re attracted to the inherent meaning and beauty of mundane things and places around you then one of my paintings can take you there because that’s where they take me and why I do them.