By Terry Osterhout
(Dudes From Dallas Special Contributor)
Everything is ART! Art is my god because it is what I can see and it speaks to me in a way that I can grow from. I prefer to be a slave to ideas and the pursuit of creating over being loyal to intangible and ancient manufactured beliefs, and I have been a slave to Art since I could hold a pencil.
I think everyone is an artist in some way, and usually people just need the right person or circumstances to bring it out of them. Not everyone who is good at something that is artistic appreciates the value of art. Artists imagine things, and scientists and engineers bring it to life.
Art is psychology and art is history. Art is life. Art is the future.
Sometimes Art pays the bills, and sometimes artists pay to make the Art. It only matters that the Art is brought to life. People who aren’t artists don’t fucking get it, and they won’t. If you make Art in any form, you have an addict’s need to make that Art. You have no choice. When an artist sits on an idea, or is unable to create for an extended period, the artist usually feels a little crazy and angry.
Most artists are misunderstood, and usually by people who aren’t actually interested in understanding the artist or the work. I don’t care about what the average person thinks about Art, and I don’t put much value in the opinion of Art from someone with no respect for it.
I spent ten years in New York City and another decade in Southern California and I have enjoyed my fair share of time in art museums, galleries and Natural History Museums. I know good Art when I see it, and I can recognize talent when I see it. I may never be the artist I strive to be or come even close to the artists I admire, but whether I am making movies, writing, taking photographs, or drawing and painting, I am going to express myself with my Art in the way I need to tell my story, and the minute someone tries to impede that expression or oppress my voice, I go from artist to fighter.
ALL voices deserve the right to speak, and be heard. Not all voices or points of view are correct or even valid (Hi, flat-earthers, you are fucking nuts!) but they have a right to speak and express freely, and I will fight for their right to do so. I will fight for the right of religion and pornography to also exist, though I personally find religion far more dangerous and offensive.
For years I enjoyed making Art quietly and not worrying about whether or not someone with a problem with my work would be actively working to silence my voice or make it harder for me to make my Art, and make a living from my work. Now that I have experienced having to create under the conditions of oppression and bullying, I find my work is now more passionate and focused. I am only more determined to get my message out there, and to ensure other artists are able to continue to freely make their art as well.
I love living in a free world where I am surrounded by different kinds of people with various viewpoints, backgrounds, ideas and experiences. I don’t want to be surrounded exclusively by people I agree with because we don’t grow living in a vacuum, but I don’t think anyone deserves to be harassed and maligned for their ideas and Art, and that is why I am creating my latest project “The Chosen Nightmare”. Condemning anyone for their ideas, morals and choice of expression is a dangerous game since none of us are exempt from scrutiny.
I find it ironic that anyone would have an issue with nudity in Art since the human body is such a natural and beautiful organic masterpiece, and to attack someone for their focus on sexuality in Art is fucking absurd since making love is the most peaceful and beautiful act humans engage in. (People seem more comfortable with violence in Art than sex and nudity, which I find alarming because we should be more bothered by cruelty and destruction of life, than the potential creation of it, and celebration of it.)
I want to thank the Dudes From Dallas for having us on their show and for giving a voice to free thought, freedom of expression, and for defending reason and balance when there is so much knee-jerk outrage and asinine overreaction in our current cultural climate.
We cannot cherry-pick the freedoms we think deserve protection based on whether we agree with them or like them. The only people who don’t deserve their freedom are those who don’t respect the rights of everyone to be free, and those who take it for granted to the point where they lose it.