Art is Thirst

Summer 2017


WHY DO WE HIDE ART? We stow beauty in our most secret places: in diaries, caves, and catacombs, in the very bindings of our dead. Unlike our fellow creatures, whose architecture and mating displays serve a practical, public purpose, our art is not solely for shelter and show. Human creativity looks beyond the pragmatics of survival and sexual selection toward an elusive, personal necessity. Art, particularly that which we regard as sacred, illuminates our need for more than physical flourishing; it asserts our primal incompleteness. We thirst, not simply for water and sex, but for an explanation of our imaginings. Our most cherished verses and images are no mere amusements, but solemn crafts of metaphysics.

Exposing the art of thirst to the sunlight of public inspection invites both judgment and affirmation—not simply of an artist’s skill, but also, of herself. Confessing an unrequited yearning is a bold, yet humbling act. It is a naked cry for completion, to which there may be no answer. As our summer artists reveal their thirst in works of prose, poetry, visual art, and design, we hope that each piece will echo in the secret places of our readers’ own, incomplete selves.

-Elise Matich

Photo (detail) by Lhfage at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC0