My Huffington Post Essay: “Life is Art”

Each of us is a creator, an artist. Of ourselves. This I believe: Life is art.

Every decision I make, step I take, or word I whisper or shout is paint, ink, clay, or found object.

Creatives have always known this—their worth as a masterpiece. But everyone, everywhere should know this about themselves.

Figures painted on prehistoric cave walls tell us this: Life is worthy of being captured in image, be it realism or abstraction, because life as medium is the message. The first lines of Scripture are this: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.”

Today, Adam Bartos’ Yard Sale Photographs and Patti Smith’s Polaroids—of Mapplethorpe’s hands; Virginia Woolf’s white bed; Brancusi’s gravesite—dialogue with those ancient works in depicting our existence, our brief moment of passing this way, as bona fide art.

Life as art is grounded in Cavafy’s “Ithaca” and P!NK’s harmonious thread: “We are billons of beautiful hearts.” It is Wyeth’s Christina’s World. Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking, Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson—We never again look at these portrayed subjects as anything less than art personified, confirmation that our own breaths and pursuits are indeed building blocks.

I extend my bare arm and invite Duchamp to sign it, readymade.


John Schlimm

John Schlimm is the award-winning author of sixteen books on cooking, history, how-to, and fiction. His latest work is The Ultimate Beer Lover's Happy Hour.