Monday, July 14, 2008

Practical(ly) Lost Art

It's unfortunate that in our society the technological advances we make often serve neither function nor form but a loss of passion; a laziness that has quickly rooted itself within our daily lives. We used to be a country built on the inventive, creative, and persistent foundation our forefathers had laid down for us - yet now we find ourselves a stressed, overweight, and largely unhappy people. The very creations we had once stared up at in wonder are now merely unappreciated background; time and dedication lost to the ages. And in our pursuit of these new technologies that minimize and materialize our day to day interactions we have also lost many great forms of art.

One such form comes not by canvas, nor playhouse, not by ink or by paper but instead by a firmer hand and a nobler pursuit. The great downfall and only true lamentable quality attributed to art is its lack of practicality. Art cannot cook your meals, it cannot remind you where you set your keys, and it will not listen to your complaints about gas prices. As a student of its history and a lover of its progressions I can attest to the joy that comes with the creation and preservation of art so please don't misunderstand my words as a criticism but rather be happy to learn that there is a form of art that retains its usefulness. Hidden in forgotten fields and vacated barns you might find a surprisingly pragmatic form of art. Consider it archaic if you must - call it a lost art even, but only a few have that undying technique that allows them the end result of cruising through town in a newly restored car.

It's not something you might think to label as art at first glance but even the most removed viewers of the local car show can tell you otherwise. For many its a relentless love - and one I might have remained innocently oblivious to but for a recent discovery. There is a complex and intricate beauty that comes along with the otherwise negatively viewed profession that spills over into this addictive hobby. Most of us remain blissfully ignorant (read: scared shitless) when it comes to our cars but these enlightened few have a painters hand with an extra bonus. What they create is for many not only a glorified sense of nostalgia but a truly accomplished work of art because we and they can live out small pieces of our lives inside it. There isn't a painter on the earth that can claim that.

While it would be arrogant of me to claim that I know anything but the smallest details included in the vast amount of work the restoration of a car entails, I will say this: I've seen the work, the end results, and the joy that can be achieved from this particular pursuit. And if anything, anything at all, is meant to be labeled as art surely the shine of new chrome, the smell of fresh paint, and the feel of the wind on your face qualifies. Even if it has to compete with a bowl of fruit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You continue to amaze me with every perfect thing you do, and every amazing piece of writing you put out for the world to see! You are so talented hun...This blog really means more to me then almost any other thing I have read from you love. You are part of a precious few that can see the beauty in a 75 year old rusted piece of metal...I'm so glad to be able to call you mine! I love you my 'Lizzy'