Society’s Delusions Regarding Art’s Illusions

By Amanda Soo

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 12.32.13 PM.pngHansen’s piece titled “Refraction” composed by the stories of more than 1000 people.

The value of art has been constantly undermined for its eccentricity. Many discourage pursuing art as a career because of the lack of success seen amongst the majority. In short, art is the black sheep of professions. However, these superficial ideas associated with art are discarded once we understand the meaning of creating art.

Art is a psychological battle.

It’s the thrill of creating something beautiful out of nothing but your imagination; an ambitious vision that comes with great uncertainty. It’s knowing which mistakes to keep. It’s faith; the belief that despite the imperfections woven into your art, it will still come out just as you had envisioned it, maybe even better. When the curve of a face appears too accentuated, or the spacing between the brows too wide, you’ll find that these details are what make your drawing realistic.  

Phil Hansen is an artist whose identity was solely found in pointillism. He developed a shake in his hand and left art. In a TED talk, he voices his struggle with returning to art and the opportunities created by his limitations. From painting Bruce Lee with karate chops to using people’s stories to create art; Phil Hansen was both limited and liberated by the shake in his hand.

Art is recycling.

You take all of the aspects of your life that have an uncanny resemblance to fecal matter and toss it into the trash compactor. Out comes the building blocks you’ll use to build your own Atlantis. Or perhaps a monotonous dystopia that reflects our everyday life, to criticize the problems in society no one is willing to talk about.

Just recently, a Banksy mural appeared on a building in New York criticizing the wrongful imprisonment of Zehra Dogan. Sent to jail for using her art to criticize the Turkish government, this mural challenges the authority for Dogan’s freedom.

Art is a way of saying goodbye.

That cliché idiom: “a picture is worth a thousand words” sums up why I send my friends off with art, it makes up for my lack of tears. I’m terrible at saying goodbye so I use art as a vessel for my memories. They’re a compilation of inside jokes, the things we loved and shared. From Stewie Griffin to black cats; totems symbolic of our peculiar conversations. I forcefully shove my art into their arms in hopes that my friends will understand that it communicates my promise of remembrance.

The best thing about art is that even if no one understands your message, at least they’ll say, “Ooo, that’s pretty.”     

Works Cited

  1. Chow, Andrew R. “New Banksy Mural in New York Protests Turkish Artist’s Imprisonment.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Mar. 2018,
  2. Hansen , Phil. “Embrace the Shake .” TED Talk . TED2013 , 11 Mar. 2018, Long Beach , Long Beach Performing Arts Center ,
  3. Hansen , Phil. “Refraction .” Philinthecircle, 2013,


One thought on “Society’s Delusions Regarding Art’s Illusions

  1. Clarissa

    I loved how you drew attention to the 3 single sentences which not only emphasizes the importance of them. Not only that, your whole editorial was filled with pathos which reflects what art really is.

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