The Tree Falls: An Intrinsically Good Cocktail & a Damn Good Art Essay
It's a sad fact that some art galleries depend upon a rich clientele to keep going. It's also a fact that other galleries charge their artists a membership fee to stay afloat (some in the neighborhood of $10,000), while still others declare a non-profit status, and depend upon grants and charitable donations to keep their doors open. And this begs two important questions: "Where is the public in all of this?" and "For whom, after all, is art made?" In those moments of wishful thinking, does the artist see her work out there in the world for all to see (regardless of bank account)? Does she see art itself as something sacred, both the process and the result; that
it can both soothe and outrage, and perhaps shine a light on something that others try to hide? That it can be a mirror for the artist herself, as well as for society at large; a reflection of the present, as well as a hope (or a warning) for the future? With all the artists who have ever lived, and all the artwork that has been made, why do some people still feel that irrepressible need to express themselves? Instead of saying that it's all been done before, their actions speak resoundingly that some things still need to be said! The true artist cannot help but feel the vastness of Art, the gravity of the continuum of which they themselves are a part. So what does it mean when the platforms for presenting their artistic statements to the world are ignored (or at least, not supported) by the very people for whom the artist creates, namely, the public? And yes, there are artists who maintain that they "do it for themselves." But yet, there must come a moment when they want to reach beyond their own skin. After all, if the work is universal, then there is a longing on some level to present it to the Universe! And this brings us back to our opening statement, that the majority of the public fails to give artists its support, which forces the above-mentioned vicious cycle upon the artists and galleries alike. And if the public ignores the artists, then is the art itself meaningless? And how do we respond as artists, if those for whom we create are oblivious to our creations?
This begs another question: What constitutes meaning? Many of us (including many artists) require a roadmap to find this most elusive of things. And where it most often leads is accolades, awards, grants, fame, fortune and the like. But is this the destination? Is a work of art great only after it has been recognized by the so-called experts? Or in other words, is its worth dependent upon these outside forces, its intrinsic qualities invisible until pointed out (or bestowed upon it) by others?
This calls to mind the proverbial "tree falling in the forest." Let us imagine a hermit-artist living in the woods. He keeps to himself and only goes into town once a month for supplies, his life spent in his shack in the forest that surrounds it. When he no longer comes to town, the storekeeper becomes curious. He ventures into the woods, to this place hidden from the rest of the world. He comes upon a humble shack, and inside it, he finds paintings. Hundreds of paintings—beautiful, daring, original works that have never existed outside these wooden walls. And this raises another question: "When is that moment when these pieces of art will be granted their existence?" To the world outside, this may be a great discovery. But what did it mean to the hermit-artist? If something truly is, does it need anyone else to say that it's so? Or better, can we as human beings be satisfied without that echo from outside? For our mythical hermit-artist in the woods, the tree fell, and it was deafening.
THE TREE FALLS 1 part Amaro Montenegro 1 part Absolut Citron Vodka splash of Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur 1 part Fever-Tree Ginger Beer ¼ part fresh-squeezed Lemon juice dash of Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit bitters Shake everything but Ginger Beer over ice. Stir in Ginger Beer. Pour into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
And please check out these art-related posts:
Modern Art: A Cubist Cocktail The Sorry Lot of the Artist: A New Drink to Ease the Pain A New Cocktail for When Fighting the Good Fight is Not Enough Impression Sunrise: The Video A Beautiful Cocktail Inspired by Claude Monet's Painting Art Deco: A New Cocktail That Pays Homage to the Art Deco Movement in Art