Park West Gallery Answers: ‘What is the Power of Art?’

What is art? It’s a question as old as art itself. But maybe it’s the wrong one.

Pablo Picasso famously wrote: “Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird? … No more importance should be attached to [art] than to plenty of other things which please us in the world, though we can’t explain them.”

“Nature Morte Au Pot de Gres” (1947), Pablo Picasso.

Even those well-versed in art criticism and history cannot seem to pinpoint an all-encompassing definition; art is too diverse. In the last 100 years alone, classical notions of artistic accomplishment—resemblance in representation, perspective, and dimension—have been upended by the integration of Brillo boxes, bicycle seats, and shovels in our modern-day artistic encyclopedia.

“Les Coquillages” (1969), Joan Miró.

Art can be defined by beauty, skill, utility, rebellion, and shock value, and therein lies its power.

To examine these qualities in greater detail, we spoke with four Park West Gallery art experts on what the power of art meant to them.

 

Morris Shapiro, Park West Gallery Director:

 

“Art created the beginnings of human consciousness, 30,000 years ago, and art made the world. Art has shown us, and continues to show us—amidst the chaos, confusion, horror, and tragedy that surrounds us—that there is still something right in this world.”

 

Morris Shapiro alongside Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece etching, “The Frugal Repast.”

 

John Block, Park West VIP Fine Art Auctioneer:

 

“Art educates, commemorates, enlightens, emboldens, insults, challenges, hurts, and heals us. Two viewers may derive entirely different messages from it, both equally certain they are correct, and in art they can be. Art is the apex of human creativity; it is the historian and oracle to every generation.”

 

John Block introducing a work by Marko Mavrovich.

 

David Gorman, Park West Gallery Director:

 

“Art is the purest form of human expression—proof of culture within a civilization—and a promise for a brighter tomorrow. Art is used to move nations, expose societal controversy, and serves as a time capsule for how the world once was—for better or for worse.”

 

David Gorman with artwork by David (Lebo) Le Batard.

 

Trista Maltby, Park West Gallery Consultant:

 

“Historically, art is defined by representation, but it is also defined by its complexities; which is to say that art is anything that ignites inspiration. We find this true with our collectors at Park West Gallery, who find in art something that sings to their soul. That’s what makes art, ‘art’.”

 

Trista Maltby alongside a 6-panel work by Chris DeRubeis.

Want to join the conversation? For the latest Park West Gallery updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter.

 

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • What Are Illuminated Manuscripts and How Were They Created?

    First created in the sixth century and popularized across Europe into the 15th century, illuminated manuscripts centralized the command of Middle Age churches and monasteries, symbolizing a new era of ...
    Read More
  • Artist Michael Cheval Tells the Stories Behind His Fall Art

    Many artists are drawn to the unique colors and sensations of autumn, and that includes Absurdist artist Michael Cheval.“I love autumn,” Cheval says. “I love the season when colors are ...
    Read More
  • Meet Scott Jacobs: The Original Harley Davidson Artist

    Scott Jacobs is internationally recognized for his photorealistic artwork of everything from wine bottles to Harley Davidsons, but he knows art is about so much more than just capturing ...
    Read More
  • Experience Fall With the Art of Slava Ilyayev

    Fewer artists are able to capture the changing leaves, the crisp air, and romance of fall better than Slava Ilyayev.Park West Gallery is celebrating the turn of the season with ...
    Read More
  • Claude Monet Is Coming To Detroit—With The Help Of Park West Gallery

    Park West Gallery is bringing one of the founding fathers of the Impressionist movement to the gallery’s hometown—Detroit.Park West Gallery and the Park West Foundation are sponsoring “Monet: Framing ...
    Read More
  • Dominic Pangborn Selected to Honor Blessing of Father Solanus Casey

    Art and religion have a long-standing history. Artist Dominic Pangborn will join that time-honored tradition by creating artwork of a beloved Detroit priest on his way to becoming a saint.Pangborn ...
    Read More
  • 4 Tips on How to Plan the Perfect Cruise

    Did you know that October is “Plan a Cruise Month”? It’s a worldwide event—first started by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in 2016—focused on teaching both new and ...
    Read More
  • Park West Museum Features Yaacov Agam Exhibition

    Park West Gallery is inviting the public to experience the kinetic art of renowned Israeli artist Yaacov Agam in its newly-renovated gallery and museum.A special exhibition, “Agam,” will run ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Rome Creates Art Exhibition for the Blind

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making headlines this week. New Exhibition Designed for ...
    Read More
  • How Yaacov Agam Became a Warrior For Truth (With a Little Help From...

    When “The Algemeiner,” one of the foremost Jewish newspapers in the world, announced they wanted to honor famed Israeli artist Yaacov Agam with their 2017 “Warrior for Truth” ...
    Read More
  • Park West Supports the 2017 Amelia Island Jazz Festival

    Enjoy the sounds of today’s top jazz performers and the sights of artwork by renowned artist Alfred “Alex” Gockel during the 2017 Amelia Island Jazz Festival.The annual jazz festival, held ...
    Read More
  • Park West Foundation Fosters Future Generations

    Less than 10 percent of Michigan’s foster care children who graduate high school enroll in college. Less than 1 percent of those who do go on to college will graduate. ...
    Read More