Does art have any real value in our lives and in our society?
“Antin! Where are you?” bellowed the bullies’ menacing voice as they stalked their small prey through the sea of weathered tents in the refugee camp. The strong relentless winds tore many of the tarps loose from their pegs. It caused the fabric to flap furiously about; like ghosts helplessly trying to flee from such a desolate and dreary place.
As the little boy sprinted past piles of discarded water jugs, rusted bikes, and worn-out suitcases, he suddenly paused. For he spotted a peculiar object that seemed to be half-buried in the pile of junk.
It was an old-tattered picture frame that housed an inky black surface. As he came closer to this peculiar relic, he cautiously poked his finger into this black abyss. To his surprise, his finger dipped below the rippling surface.
But before he could understand what was going on, he heard the heavy footsteps of his assailants closing in on him. After taking a deep and desperate breath, he reluctantly stepped into the void and emerged on the other side.
There before him sat a small little boy; in the midst of a smoldering and charred wreckage.
“Hi… my name is Antin.” he said cautiously. “What is your name?”
“I don’t have a name” replied the boy between sobs.
“Why are you crying?” asked Antin with a hint of unease.
“My parents died in a fire.” whispered the little boy in a hollow and empty voice. “And where are your parents?”
“I don’t know.” replied Antin as he stared down at his mud-covered shoes. “I am scared they may have also died… but in a war.”
As these heavy words tumbled out of his mouth, Antin could no longer hold back the floodgate of tears. They both cried together for what seemed like an eternity. When Antin finally left and climbed through the portal, he looked back. And all he saw was a painting of a little boy who continued to cry.
Art is an underappreciated medium that is often overlooked by an information obsessed world. But those who have the courage to dapple in the arts, will soon discover that it is really a powerful portal. It has the potential to transport us to places that engages our feelings and not just our minds.