Aash is a new member of the Artsmith team. He’s been a lover and practitioner of the arts for most of his life. He has strong opinions about art’s purpose and benefits and he’s not afraid to express them. He fits right in here. The best part? He’s in high school!
With a mission aimed at empowering youth through the arts, it’s important that Artsmith allows young people to use their voices. Aash will be writing a column on the Artsmith website where he will share his thoughts on many art related topics that important to him and his peers. If you’re lucky, he may share some of his paintings with you as well.
Where did your interest in the arts come from?
I think my interest in the arts is grounded in and initially came from my mother’s occupation as an art professor. I was a regular at art classes in the college where she teaches, both those taught by my mother and by other professors as well. It was a running joke that I showed up to class more than some of the less dedicated students did! I think what made class such an appealing and attractive environment was the ability to just be a child. Every child loves art; it’s almost a natural instinct to draw and paint and express yourself through the arts at a stage in life when expressing yourself via words or deliberate action is difficult, to say the least. In some respects, artists are just children that have gained experience and knowledge about the world and then decided that expressing themselves through artistic media works better for them than anything else. Lucky for me, I had the ideal environment to enjoy myself in this manner and to my heart’s content in my early childhood years. The art classes, especially those taught by my mother, were like a second home for me.
A work of art is a window into the life of the artist. It allows you to see into him, his deepest emotions, his darkest thoughts. They are on full display for the world to see, to acknowledge and to absorb and digest.
Do you have a favorite type of art?
My favorite style and technique have to be pointillism. Pointillism has a sort of paradoxical beauty to it, in some senses it is even contradictory. The premise is to make the most miniscule points of color possible, the most basic, fundamental mark you possibly can. By doing so repeatedly and relentlessly these individual dots and points and marks are transformed and molded together into a single unit. Each speck is powerless, meaningless, pointless, in and of itself. (No pun intended). But when thousands of these individual pinpricks come together, they create something amazing. It is reminiscent of the the way the world works. An individual person is, let’s face it, rather inconsequential. But when people join together and work towards a common goal, the sky is truly the limit for who can stop you? This principle is in fact the basis of modern society. With enough strength, anything is possible. And strength comes, as they say, in numbers.
Why do you think art is important? What are its benefits?
The benefits of art are innumerable, incalculable, umpteen. It’s nigh on impossible to think of a situation where introducing art does not improve it. Art is important especially to young people I think, those around my age group. One of my favorite articles is “Art for Life’s Sake,” by Alain de Botton. In this article, the author discusses the real reasons we should look at art and enjoy art and learn from art. We should not look at art simply because it is the “sophisticated” or “civilized” thing to do. If that is your purpose for going to a museum or having paintings in your house, you are doing nothing but wasting time and money. Art should be looked at and enjoyed and celebrated not because of society’s expectations of you as a person, but because you have so much to gain from art. So much information can be gleaned from a piece of artwork. A work of art is a window into the life of the artist. It allows you to see into him, his deepest emotions, his darkest thoughts. They are on full display for the world to see, to acknowledge and to absorb and digest. So learn enjoy art not because you think you should or because other people do, learn to enjoy art because it helps you. Find your own meaning, your own interpretation, you own story within the artwork and with the help of the artist. That’s what art is all about.