The Questioning Artist

David Price
3 min readDec 5, 2021
Franco Gentilini

“It is obvious that art cannot teach anyone anything, since in four thousand years humanity has learnt nothing at all. We should long ago have become angels had we been capable of paying attention to the experience of art, and allowing ourselves to be changed in accordance with the ideals it expresses. Art only has the capacity, through shock and catharsis, to make the human soul receptive to good. It’s ridiculous to imagine that people can be taught to be good…Art can only give food — a jolt — the occasion — for psychical experience.”

― Andrei Tarkovsky

*

The micheli, or the micoriza, is a mushroom that spreads underground creating a network of links between all species of plants, something similar to the internet network, which allows them not only to communicate, but also to take care of themselves, to protect themselves, to feed, supply water.
When a tree in the forest is cut down, this little micoriza communicates to the other trees in the forest that one of them is dying and all the other trees through the micellus begin to take care of the trunk that remains to try to save that life. I feed him, give him water, protect him because that death bang is part of the forest family.

— Thiwanka Weerasooriya (Thiwa)

*

Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude.

Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar.”

- Jeff Foster

Maybe because I’ve been an artist for so long I see my job as questioning and trying to see more deeply. Applied to ideas, that means turning them around and around to notice all their details. It’s not my purpose to simply verify whether they are black or white, right or wrong. I bounce off them to discover nuances I might not have seen before. The problem with simple acceptance or rejection is that you fail to learn because you stop looking and questioning.

I use quotes to initiate this process. I have recently been told I should never use a quote I don’t fully agree with. First of all, I don’t think in “shoulds.” I don’t find them very helpful. I try not to shut down my learning process by categorizing…

--

--

David Price

I write about creativity, loving, language learning and psycho/spirituality. I’m a longtime painter and reader.