Since many centuries ago, we have assumed, even in societies where there is nothing that prevents anyone from trying their luck, that few people have the necessary talent to be artists. And that others must be content, if they have the means, just to buy what these people create. This dichotomy is not very old: during the Renaissance, it was in good taste for a gentleman to compose music, write poetry or produce a theatre play. It has, however, not been the case since the 19th century.
Today, among the forms of art that have become the most elitist, painting has become so, as it is reserved for a few highly talented people to paint; for a few billionaires to own; and others can only crowd into museums to see it.
Among the less elitist art forms, we find literature; though a lot of people can get published, true talents are scarce, and anyone can nowadays buy a book, or at least borrow it from a friend or a library.
Similarly, music and cinema: you can hear or see as many as you want, almost free of charge today; and even if there is a proliferation of music schools and bands, the talent is considered limited to a small group of remarkable people.
In principle, however, there is nothing that prevents anyone from developing their creative potential. By drawing, writing, painting, or playing an instrument. Art is, more and more, accessible to all: art schools have increased exponentially, and it is possible to begin collecting art, even with a limited budget.
Firstly, we can begin by practicing certain art forms that are still considered to be the least elitist and that almost anyone can do. I would call them “the intimate arts.”
Among the first intimate arts, there is cooking. Certainly, in this field as in others, there are great artists, with rare creativity, whose creations are reserved for wealthy clients. Next to these high-level chefs, there are others who can make sublime meals, prepared with love and immense talent, sometimes in improbable places and often for a derisory amount of money. And even more: if they take the time to do it, everybody can learn to prepare wonderful things at home, or even create new things as well. Not for any client, but rather for themselves, and their family or friends.
There is also the art of storytelling: in company with great authors, from whom everyone can draw inspiration, there are also billions of parents who invent millions of stories each night for their children. Many of them are wonderful works of art, inspired by tales, myths and stories of all types. Or perhaps only from the imagination of their authors. Stories that will remain forever without any other audience than the children for whom they are intended.
There is, and perhaps above all, the art of loving, in every sense of the word, which undoubtedly constitutes the most beautiful and intimate art forms, which surpasses the self and others. If we apply the only rule that is valid for an artist in all art categories—the sincere search of the true self for the happiness of others—then this art form is accessible to everyone.
These three intimate art forms are at the heart of a civilization. They make possible the three conditions for the survival of a society: love, educate, and nourish. Nothing would be more important than to give them their full place, and to glorify them. To give each human being the pride that stems from this part of him.
My editorial for Le Journal des Arts.