“The World today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” — Pablo Picasso
Should the world make sense? Who gets to decide what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense? For us humans, making sense is individual. We all determine what makes sense and what doesn’t through the lenses of our personalities and our own lived experiences. Also, we determine what makes sense based on the audience who may be looking at our writing or art. My interpretation of making sense is completely different from yours. In this blog post, I will share my concept of when it’s necessary to make sense and when it’s not.
When I am writing a newspaper article, I want it to make sense to as many people as possible. I want to present facts in an interesting way. My goal is to convey information. Sometimes, however, I have to try to make sense out of things that make little sense. Say, for example, I am writing an article about the journey of a cancer survivor. I interview that person and share that person’s story. I ask questions that the person can answer. Questions that make sense Or come across as making sense. When were you diagnosed? What kind of cancer did you have? How long have you been in remission? What was the experience like for you?
But cancer itself doesn’t make sense, despite the fact that I want explanations. I want someone to make sense out of things that don’t make sense. Sometimes, I am tempted to find some health professional to ask, “why does cancer exist?”But the question cannot be answered. No one knows why cancer exists. It just does. In a newspaper article, however, I cannot introduce that much ambiguity. I do not ask that question.
Art for me is different than journalism. I can introduce ambiguity in a painting or a drawing. I am not trying to convey information. It is okay for people to interpret artwork in any way that they choose. Hence, art doesn’t have to make any sense at all. It can make suggestions and leave the rest to people’s imagintions. Sort of like the world, where people experience cancer but we don’t know why cancer exists.
But we can still share stories with words and with pictures that convey feelings and impressions or are maybe just images for the sake of images. And I could create a painting that asks the question, “Why does cancer exist?” Maybe I will. Stay tuned.