As art continues to move our society like a coaster, debates often fuel up about the role of artists. Seeing the history and evolution of art, one can simplify that artist’s position and eminence might have got affected but the role of artisans remain quite stagnant throughout time.

After all, these are gifted and skilled individuals who dared to step out of their fear and expressed their emotions despite all the criticism and confrontations.  The modern art paintings we see and the sculptures that encapsulates our attention have offered us to see this world in a new and innovative manner. Abstract art stimulates our creativity by bending our thought process to something new.

Artists are termed talented because of their competency to visualise the world in a completely strange but meaningful way. And because artists have the capability to touch our heart, unknowingly, our actions are controlled by them. This brings up a lot of questions about the kind of role these artists play in our society.

Fortunately, there is no single definition that describes the role of an artist in society but multiple perceptions. Let’s go through them one by one and see how artists play a crucial role in our society:

1. Artists are the instruments to express emotions

Well, while most of our today’s generation people deny or completely suppress their emotions, artists try to evoke those feelings out of us.

How many times does it happen that after months or years of practical life, one painting or sculpture moves your heart and you just slowly transcends you into a thought process where materialism doesn’t exist?

Or after seeing a portrait of a mother and a son, you are reminded of your own mother who you have not met for a long time. All these emotions that we push down to justify the practicality and the rationality in our mind suddenly bursts out when you observe a mesmerising artwork.

Artists understand pain, sorrow, love, joy, fear, and death spares no one even though people ignore them. That is one of the most impressionable roles of an artist in our society.

Also Read: How can Contemporary Artists Build a Business From their Art?

2. Raise the curtains for truth

The life of an artist is never smooth and frictionless. Anything great and outstanding is ridiculed to levels we cannot imagine. Whatever happens, every artist is quite honest and content when it comes to recognizing himself.

Until and unless artists are able to resonate with their inner self, the true self, they aren’t able to echo their emotions with the world. Maybe that is why the most prominent names in the art world like Vincent Van Gough, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Pablo Picasso were so clear about their own characters.

I am a writer, I have to follow various guidelines and rules before I pen down an article or a blog, but my experiences and my inner-self empower me to choose the words and direction of my write-ups.

3. It’s a holy commitment

The term ‘holy’ here is far away from any religious duties or considerations, instead, it signifies the universal duty of an artist. Quite a few historians and art experts believe that it is a duty of an artist to provide a helping hand to the communities and the people that require to raise their voice against the autocratic ways and hypocritical beliefs.  

Many artists today have been choosing themes based on social and political issues that are affecting a section of society or people altogether.  No doubt, scintillating modern art paintings empower people to exchange ideas, grow empathetic behaviour, and understand the contrasting ideas with patience and rationality.

A minute transformation for the welfare of our society that is ignited by an artist’s work is a small step into the big change waiting ahead. It’s like the ripple effect.

4. The storytellers

If you have a chance of visiting an oil painting gallery where a plethora of ancient yet vivacious traditional artworks are exhibited, go and observe the message of those pieces.
Most of the traditional artists were framed as “storytellers”, the section of people who are experts in creating visuals of important historical events or religious epics.

If you see the art of Mithila or Madhubani paintings (Indian traditional art), you would find that the artistry is being passed for thousands of years. Hence, artists are also considered as the storytellers who keep passing the artistry baton to next generations.

5. The inspirers who engage the world

As said, only artists have the ability to touch the hearts of millions and galvanize them towards a common message or emotion.

See the wonderful modern art paintings of Indian legend M.F. Husain. His artworks were so niche and up-to-the-point that a lot of people got agitated because of them. Even though this eminent artist left the world, his thought process and his artistic sense still inspire millions across the globe.

6. They are the preservers

If you want to see the progress of human society in the last 500 years, all you have to do is line up the artworks in a chronological order. Each of the artwork, whether it’s the ancient paintings of the 16th century or the modern art paintings of the 20th century, represents how people lived their life in such times.

Although the revelation may not be of the same quantity in each work, artists from time-to-time have successfully managed to document the human civilisations wrapped in their exquisite pieces.

Therefore, artists also hold the role of preservers of our human history.

Also Read: Understanding the Significance of Art as Asset

7. They encourage the idea of hope

“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”

                                                                            - Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

This particular dialogue is a superior example of how art adores and stimulates the idea of hope. I personally do not think that if artists did not exist, ‘hope’ would have been such an inspiring thought.

Apart from poetries, novels, movies, songs, and sculptures, paintings have remained as a remarkable source of hope for the people. It is the artists who have encouraged people to think beyond the hurdles and the roadblocks. This role of artists is perhaps the most beautiful and most essential for our society.