Excuse me, what do you mean? The first time I heard Dan Wagoner, the choreographer, master dancer and teacher, and generous human being express this thought many years ago, I sensed deep down how right he was. Still, I was taken aback. How was the creation of art inherently political?
After musing about this countless times over the past decade, I definitely agree with this statement. I don't know if Dan's image differs, but my interpretation makes me want to celebrate all artists for how they enhance our immediate universe and the Universe.
Because if you're making art, you've made a commitment to cultivate and offer a deep, ineffable part of yourself to the collective. By weaving your unique magic with the resources you've got, you take a stand for values like beauty, generosity, possibility, meaningfulness. When you expose others to your art, you give them the opportunity to experience something that you alone can and do bring into being and nurture.
Even if no one else comes in contact with your art directly or consciously, your creative energy betters life. Art heals.
It charges the atmosphere with positivity and mitigates all too present negative forces. When you make art, you breathe into your community the life energy of the creative process itself, feeding the vitality of the polity's souls just as trees provide them crucial oxygen.
Your commitment produces work that is beautiful or inspiring or thought-provoking or otherwise beneficial to the quality of life of the collective as a whole, as well as its individual members. While you contribute this priceless offering to the community around you, your beneficence also ripples radiantly out into the world at large.
Often you do this at considerable personal expense and other substantial sacrifice. You march on in the name of art, often braving uncertainty, lack of cultural support, scant resources, but armed with the noble conviction that this lifeblood of the spirit and soul is worthy of the struggle--your struggle.
So, yes, every time you write your blog post or page of your novel or take your photograph or edit your tune or do your dance or paint your picture or pick up and play your horn, you champion for the community shining essentials to vitality. Positivity, grace, healing, beauty, and inspiration.
You're an artist and you rock. You totally rock. And we're all the better for it.