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Art As A Mirror to Its Community

2019-06-10 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文- Art As A Mirror to Its Community,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了艺术与社区。艺术是社区的一面镜子,因为艺术反映了社会的变化和人类普遍的情感。尽管存在一些更可量化的因素,但它们不足以评估个人或社区的发展阶段,因为人们必须寻找那些不可见或抽象的因素,这些因素实际上推动了所有这些可见的行动和结果。艺术是一面完美的镜子,让人们真实地看待事物,让人们想起盲点和阴影,这对于人类更加完整的成长道路至关重要。

When it comes to the topic of art and community, an analogy can be used to illustrate their relationship: A community needs art just as a person needs a mirror. The mirror, not those distorting mirrors for entertaining purpose of course, helps people to see themselves clearly and reveals what is real. Art does the same thing to a community and its people, which is to reflect the truth. This essay is going to analyze why and how art serves this function to its community, and why this relationship is necessary for the integral and healthy development of a community.

First of all, a community would get a better understanding of itself by embracing art and maintaining contact with art regularly, since art can help a community to reflect on itself in helping it to see what is happening within that community from a genuine perspective, just like a clear mirror. One key reason as to why art serves as a mirror of society and its member individuals is that artists’ creations generally result from close observation of one’s life, and deep exploration of oneself. While being a member of the society, artists’ works often reveal something that is universal. Just like James Baldwin believes that artists’ “state the state of everyone, and in an attempt to make vivid his endeavor. The state of birth, love and death are extreme states – extreme, universal and inescapable” (1). Artworks generate resonances with the audience, and the society in which they are created. Through the study of art history, it is often proven that the rise and fall of various art movements are influenced by the social, political, psychological, technological or economical factors of its certain era. Artworks reflect the society’s journey just like a mirror reflects its projected objects, in a most authentic and un-amended way, no matter in forms of paintings, photographs, songs or literature. This function of art is not only true with regard to the artwork created in the past, but also applies to the current art practice and artists’ roles.

The above being said, one might argue that there are already various indexes or standards that offer seemingly more precise measurements of how well things operate, or how happy people are, such as increase of sales, growth of income, or innovation of technology. All these appear to reflect social or individual changes that are more visible and quantifiable. However, are those aspects real or valid enough to evaluate the development stages of an individual, a community or a society? In another word, with these data and material development as indications of social progress, can one truly claim that the world has become a better place? James Baldwin wisely pointed out that “society must accept some things as real; he must always know that visible reality hides a deeper one, and that all our action and achievement rest on things unseen” (1-2). Therefore, data alone can absolutely not be the only measurement of the well being of humans or a community. Moreover, figures or stories might sometimes be biased or distorted. Similar to a mirror, on the other hand, art not only reflect the things people expect to see, it also reveals those unexpected blind spots that people might not normally keep in mind.

Artists’ role is crucial to the authentic seeing of a community, and to the road of genuine growth of human beings. To make sense of the phrase authentic seeing, one can imagine the distinction between standing in front of a magic mirror and a normal one. One can also think of the different pictures taken with and without a filter as another example. The normal mirror, as well as the picture without a filter, offers the image most close to the authentic seeing. Most people tend to escape from the authentic seeing as the process can be harsh, full of uncertainty and even disturbing. Baldwin sharply states that “the barrier between oneself and one’s knowledge of oneself is high” (2) and that “in order to become social, there are great many things that we must not become, and we are frightened, all of us, of these forces within us that perpetually menace our precarious security” (Baldwin 2). Human’s interior world is one complicated realm. It is not a black-or-white space that scientific number or technology manages to define. It is filled with gray space, or shadows that one dare not to face.  However, one cannot move forward in life wisely and grow integrally if one does not understand oneself, as Baldwin argues that “the conquest of the physical word is not man’s only duty. He is also enjoined to conquer the great wildness of himself” (1). In order to conquer oneself, one needs to be brave enough to look inside and examine each facet of oneself with an honest eye. Like an old Chinese saying said, one shall “do inner reflections three times a day”. The authentic seeing of oneself is essential to the understanding of oneself. One must understand and to reveal the unseen factors in order to gain a more integral picture of what is going on. And this way of authentic seeing is also applicable and necessary to a community or a society.

Last but not the least, considering this vital relationship that art has with its community, artists therefore are responsible to create such clear “mirror” that enables the authentic seeing for people and its community. Bearing this in mind, artists shall stay true to themselves, observe both the external and internal worlds closely as source of inspirations, dig deep into a question, and create genuine works. Like the maker of the clear mirror, artists create mediums and works to help people better understand themselves.

In the end, to wrap it up, art serves as a mirror to its community, since artworks reflect social changes and universal human emotions. Although some more quantifiable factors exist, they are not sufficient to evaluate the developmental stages of an individual or a community, since people must look for the unseen or abstract factors that actually motivate all those visible actions and outcomes. Art serves as the perfect mirror for people to see things authentically, remind them of the blind spots and shadows, therefore essential to a more integral growth path of humans. In such crucial roles, artists shall remain true in their creation to serve such purpose. All in all, by viewing art as a mirror to the community or individuals, their relationship is less of an opposite but more of a mutually inspiring one.


Baldwin, James. “The Creative Process.” Creative America. New York: Ridge Press, 1962. Print.


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