'Ten Commandments of Art' for the art connoisseurs
John Devaraj is supremely talented and has come a long way as an artist, sculptor, musician, photographer, and an art director. He is persistent in bringing about a change in the world through 'Art'
Few circumstances have the power to change the very course of our lives which redefines our ‘very’ existence in the world. For artist John Devaraj the ‘inner calling’ came in an extremely hard way when he witnessed the worse cyclone that hit Andhra Pradesh decades ago killing lakhs of people. “I come from an extremely large family. I grew up seeing my mother who would always insist on sharing and caring, since we were eleven siblings. When I was 19 I saw a lot of death and exploitation in Andra Pradesh. The cyclone had killed lakhs of people beyond my horror. I was shaken from my cocoon and provided voluntary aid to the victims and started painting around the same time,” says Devaraj who thinks art comes out of real experiences.
Once he discovered his passion for painting he moved around places showcasing his work, when on an unfortunate day a Bangalore cop beat him black and blue. “I was badly beaten up by the cop who seemed disturbed looking at my paintings because it evoked emotions of life…like poverty, injustice, starvation and inequality. I showed the other side of ‘life’ which reflected in my paintings,” says Devaraj who realized the influence and importance of art that day.
“Art is an extremely powerful medium and it is about time that we give back something to the society. The world has become really ugly and it’s in our hands to change it. And artists can change the way we look at the world,” he says who is relentlessly working on an issue called Guns or Pens for over two decades now. “Almost 50% of our resources we spend on preparing for the war. I want everyone to work towards spreading peace and harmony,” says Devaraj who wrote the largest love letter in the world from India to Pakistan spreading peace. He also wrote the ten commandments of art which speaks profusely about how ‘Art’ as a medium can bring about positive change in the society.
His ten commandments of Art are:
Art is Humanity
Art has to be in the service of humans and nature. By its expressions it humanizes the world.
It emphasizes togetherness and negates individualizes. It destroys all walls and artificial materialistic barriers. It raises the collective consciousness and knits together the human fabric.
Art is Heart
Art is the heart throb of the human soul, pulsating and keeping alive the cultural continuity of civilizations.
Art is Beauty
Art is beauty as man creates in accordance with the laws of beauty. The state of beauty has to be established by creating conditions which will nourish it to flourish. It will espouse holistic human values of love, sharing, caring, peaceful coexistence, and respect nature.
Art is Joy
Art celebrates life. It does not discriminate humanity or the state of its being, colour, beliefs and place of occurrence. It beholds the goodness of the humans and promotes bondage.
Art is Power
Art is the embodiment of the creative power of the artist reflecting social life and therefore it empowers and emboldens those who behold it.
Art is United
Art is the repository of the emotive folk of civilization.
Art is Childhood
Art is the epitome of childhood. It is high fantasy, unadulterated and futuristic. It is born free from the womb of the child’s imagination seeking out the pure and innocence of life. It is playful by nature. It heralds the freedom of children from toll. Art is child liberator.
Art is Revolutionary
Art questions hitherto all accepted truths with such fundamental notions. It critically questions the contradictions in society; it nurtures enthusiasm and motivates change. Hence art will negate all that is ugly to humanity, poverty, hunger, exploitation of man-by-man, war, violence, greed, hatred and jealousy, physical and mental slavery.
Art is Prophetic
Art is prophetic and the artist is the prophet, it brings into this world all that is new and noble.