Art creates beauty and connects us to the higher meaning of life. This makes us superior beings. This makes us what we respect in ourselves. This is what we live for. Commercial enterprises of the future need art to stay relevant – and to reach people.
Without art, there is no soul. Things will be just things, not animated by our imagination. Our lives would just be a process, not a story. In order to turn our lives into a story of our own we need meaning.
Art creates images of ideal worlds. Ideals appear in the most different shapes. It appears in Botticelli’s and Ghirlandao’s ideal landscapes, Watteau’s idyllic baroque scenes, Leonardo’s fervent humanism, and Caravaggio’s drama of the individual.
We can live without many things and stay human. But we cannot live without art, those images that guide our life.
We leave our imperfect and sometimes even unhappy world behind and wander among the best that could possibly be, and return strengthened in heart and soul to plant the seeds of ideas and ideals in this world. Art lifts us to a higher order of the world, and guides us to a fulfilled and inspired life.
Any real world enterprise needs the blessing of the upper spheres, and the uplift of beauty. This has been understood for thousands of years.
Creating a golden age – the practical side of the ideal world of art
No time in history was more efficient in production of goods as this time. And no other times in history has more need of ideals, and beauty than this time. Efficiency without guidance goes in circles and becomes irrelevant, dies.
Art has always been guidance to the most successful worldly enterprises in human history. It has provided the esthetic and the framework of meaning to find one’s path and avoid the abyss.
A collaboration between art and commerce leads to a golden age. In the Renaissance, it created the rebirth of classic, European art and thinking and the rise of Europe after the thousand year-decline of the middle ages.
During the Italian Renaissance, the church commissioned countless works in architecture, painting, and sculpture. They were independent works of art. They didn’t promote “Pray and go to church, or go to hell” or “Be pious in this life, and get a free afterlife”. These works of art open a point of view into a world that has meaning and purpose – the world of religion. Art never drums a message, it shows you something. It is an invitation, a canvas of fantasy and thought, it is thought and ideals made visible.
People in position and power followed suit, and so did the wealthy and the well off – the world of commerce. An incredible amount of art was commissioned and led to the golden age of the Renaissance.
Portraits, landscapes, sculptures, and architecture were the messengers of ideals sent into this world – and these ideals became reality as much as ideals can become reality: step after step the rebirth of Europe took place.
Commercial images and art
Commercial images are to increase sales by showing the product in the best light. The message is revealed at the blink of an eye: “Buy!” That’s it. No matter how long you look afterwards, nothing else will be revealed. But wouldn’t it be great to involve people deeper? Wouldn’t it be great if they saw more than just the product?
An artist creates a world, which pulls people in to deeper involvement and to a long-time commitment. There is never an end to experiencing such a world. Art goes beyond seasons, model years, or collections.
This is why you can look a long time at a painting and always discover new things – it is a system of things and meanings. It is a world in itself, not a message that only says one thing. Because of this, different people can see different things in a world of art. Even the same person can see something different in a work of art when he revisits it after a longer period of time – it will reveal his development.
Art and commerce
When a commercial enterprise commissions art, it becomes part of a wider panorama and is involved into the history of the world and humanity on a greater scale. It makes the step from something purely functional to an entity that becomes a creator itself.
Commercial images are used up like other commodities. Commissioned art adds to the stock of value and become part of a company’s personality. It grows the core of the company. It shows there are people behind the product who value things above everyday life and are guided by these values and aim for the best and highest. No ad campaign can bring this kind of rise in reputation.
Seek classic art – avoid abstract art
When we speak of art, many people think of the shapeless, strange stuff that they see in galleries that look like something an alien has devoured and spit out. There’s a reason abstract art never quite made it. Not because it is of such a high intellectual level (the way abstract art likes to think of itself), but because it is unable to transport ideas, emotions, ideals, beauty. It is only decoration, and therefore useless for anybody except for insiders, who can appreciate it like an inside joke of art history, about which only they can laugh.
Only classic art that has a subject can show ideas, ideals, feelings, and beauty – just like only literature that tells a story can do that. Only classic art can reach the higher realm and can create a complex and ideal world.
Art is good for commerce
Taking a step back from selling something can have the best effect for a company. Just like the best sales men are not those who pester their potential clients, but those who make a personal contact to others and gain their personal interest and trust – and then they don’t need to talk about the product that much any more.
When we see someone appreciate the highest ideals, we tend to trust him. And people who are trusted will never fail in business. The same goes for companies. By making statements through art, companies can create the same effect of trust as they prove they understand values and the higher matters and appreciate them.
This is of mutual interest. Artists can only survive if they have patrons who give them commissions. The patrons need art to reach beyond the borders of their business to gain access to the higher spheres – and the trust of the people.
In this article on involvement of art and commerce I referred to classic and modern painting. The same applies to the art of photography – which will be written about in a different article.
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