Great artists of the past, such as Vincent Van Gogh, gave their lives passionately to their art while believing that their effort was somehow spiritually valuable to themselves and to all of humanity.
But if we artists today are merely focused on amassing wealth and celebrity then their profound effort, spiritual depth and passion will have been wasted and misunderstood.
The degree of superficiality in the art world today implies that the soulful struggle of artists of the past is now irrelevant. Who cares about substance, depth, honorable purpose or a profound connection to nature and humanity when achieving immediate popularity feels so much better?
Let us not squander the magnificent endowment bequeathed to us by Van Gogh and so many other ancestor artists.
Some Van Gogh quotes
“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on Earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes a spiritual calling.”
[Today we might say "vocation" instead of "profession". Vocation indicates that an activity is a heartfelt calling, not merely a means of earning an income. -ph]
“I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.”
“If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘You are not an artist,’ then by all means make art . . . and that voice will be silenced, but only by working.”
“The sun itself cannot make the world bright without souls to feel its light.”
Patrick Howe, Artist, Author and Educator