Art in the Time of COVID-19

Amidst our current crisis, I’m reading too much about how art can “lift our spirits” and “bring us together.”

The importance of art in moments like this is it teaches how to accept and expect death. Our own and those of others. And we’re going to need that wisdom in the coming weeks when so many of us will fall ill, go to the hospital and either never leave or be turned away.

Now is not the time for Jeff Koons. It is the moment for Goya.

h5_32.62.17.jpg
The Disasters of War, Francisco Goya

Nor is now the time for starry eyed belief in our fairytale of American exceptionalism. There is no prince charming. There is no miracle cure. There are only hard times ahead and if we are very, very lucky, near escapes.

I suggest we all steal ourselves with the wisdom of those who have seen death on a mass scale and who had the courage and stomach to mark it for us to return to in times like these.

In the meantime, stay in doors if you can and support those politicians working to ensure those delivering your food will receive medical care when they need it.

 Frida Kahlo Girl with Death Mask, 1938 .jpg
Girl with Death Mask,  Frida Kahlo
Hell-2 Hieronymous Bosch
Hell 2, Hieronymous Bosch

 

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