The Artist and The Realist

The realist isn’t the artist’s nemesis. They may seem like opposites, but they are like the yin and yang- seemingly opposing, but actually interdependent.

They are not even separate people, the realist and the artist- they are, or rather must be, part of the same person. Isn’t each person the entire ocean in a drop? An entire universe in a hologram? Then why do we insist on categorizing them into separate types and assigning them neat labels? 

The involved engagement of the realist with the real world is important, because make no mistake, the real world is harsh and made up of many different kinds of suffering. It is this suffering that fuels the artist’s art, that causes the spontaneous explosion of an inner world, spattering paint across a canvas, words across a page or footprints across a dance floor.

The rawness of the artist is crucial for the realist’s soul to survive, because make no mistake, there is beauty to be discovered every day in the seen and the unseen, in the little joys, and especially in the light pouring in through the cracks of hardened suffering. Make no mistake- tremendous beauty and worthiness exist, both in forms gentle and harsh. And it takes the artist’s eye to identify the beauty, and to give suffering its meaning.

The artist must not stop the realist from its relationship with the real world- for that is the food for its own passionate survival. The artist removed from the real world faces the danger of slipping into self-indulgence, creating perhaps not real art, but an imagination of what real art must look/ feel like.

The realist must not stifle the artist- it should allow the artist within to continue to feel its immense suffering, and to be fully aware of it. It should not wish it away, hide it, overcome it or ignore it. It must allow the artist to experience the depth of emotion that reality evokes, without escape. That’s the only way the realist’s soul will survive, come what may, in the ‘real’ world.


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