I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a huge fan of the Harry Potter series. I was hooked from the moment I read the first book. A large part of my love for Harry Potter comes from its pull on two of my biggest child fantasies – to attend boarding school and to be magic.
Boarding school dreams aside, what child (or adult) hasn’t fantasized about having some sort of magical power from time to time?
So imagine my surprise while reading Ernst Fischer’s The Necessity of Art to learn that I have been making magic for most of my life. Fischer writes:
“In all the forms of its development, in dignity and fun, persuasion and exaggeration, sense and nonsense, fantasy and reality, art always has a little to do with magic.” (Emphasis mine.)
Art always has a little to do with magic.
Is there anything more beautiful or poetic than that sentiment? Perhaps what Fischer writes in the next paragraph:
“Art is necessary in order that man should be able to recognize and change the world. But art is also necessary by the virtue of the magic inherent in it.” (Emphasis mine.)
This idea leaves me a little breathless. I have been making art my entire life. But I never before stopped to think that I was also making magic.
But how could it not be true?
To make art is to transfigure something into something else. I have turned paint into people and balloons into flowers. (And not in the street performer, balloon animal sense.) I take coils of steel and turn them into necklaces that attract the eye and beg to be touched. I see something in my mind and make that into reality.
Every time that I make something, I do so by way of a process that, to most people, seems as logical and probable and doable as magic itself.
And then, even more miraculously, I get to share that magic with the world.
Because the magic is not solely in the process. The magic is inherent in the thing itself.
Every piece of art, regardless of whether it’s a painting, sculpture, photograph, necklace, mug, or anything else, contains magic. It contains something that enchants, or beguiles, or transports. It contains a spark of something that carries us from our current reality and makes us see something differently.
As an artist, I am a sorcerer, an alchemist, a magician.
And that’s pretty powerful.
Now about that boarding school fantasy…Pin It