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“ALL ART IS QUITE USELESS”- OSCAR WILDE

By Imshaal Musharaf

Recently, I read a book “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde and while I was rummaging through the book, this quote caught my eyes and kept my mind entangled with thoughts for a really long time. I was amused by the irony that being an artist himself, it was rather hypocritical to say that. It’s the same as when my parents said “Too much education is useless”, well then time to leave school! It was after a lot of research that I figured he meant fine arts and not applied arts.

He was an interesting man of many talents but he must have had bare walls in his house that lead him to say that because, Art is an insight to secrets of life. Art gives a sense of purpose to a purposeless man.

Fine arts is the nourishment for the soul and the outpourings and expression of the human experience that is very necessary for all of us. Art is the beauty of a mind splattered all over a canvas, but what a person sees in that piece of art is a mere perception of his own mind and reflection of his own soul.

As Pablo Picasso said, “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” Art provides us a window to undiscovered phases of life. For me, the colours depicted in art makes the expanded world more available. I may not be able to travel to many distant lands, but I can feel them through works of art from many cultures. I can learn about people, cultures, and countries by just observing the essence of the abstract. Art connects me to a moment in time, where it makes me see that moment from the eyes of the artist. The moment I glimpsed at Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” I was filled with the feeling of awe. The vibrant colours gave me a sense of well-being and comfort. Art is a way of expression for myriad people and source of contentment for others.

Art is used as a form of therapy for mentally and emotionally disturbed people all around the world, it helps them escape the labyrinth of their minds and feed them with creativity in order to avoid becoming a captive of their own mind.

Art holds such great importance that institutes and job positions have been dedicated to zealous artists. If it hadn’t been for fine arts, we would have never been able to perceive the existence and way of living of the ancient civilization and cohort by their crafting and engravings on the walls, which we contemplate as art. Art is a way of expression and communication for the people who are blind or visually impaired.

Art has manifold uses. Saying that art is useless just because you don’t benefit from it is somewhat selfish. Nevertheless Wilde was a man with his own field of vision and that was his perception but the next time you find yourself feeling or thinking deeply or filled with awe, by looking at something beautiful or inspirational you’re looking at art. So, do not forget to admire it and give some value to it, as nothing really holds a value unless we give it.

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