Observations about Artforms

I have no justification for any of the following. Take it for what it is.

Music is the best overall artform. It is the most emotive, evocative, and simply beautiful of the artforms. In a way that goes beyond arguments, the existence of music counts as some evidence against total deflationism, nominalism, and nihilism. There’s something so perfect about it.

Painting is the freest artform. I’ve recently tried painting with oil on a few occasions – it is an out of control, boundless, maddeningly playful artform. In some sense, it’s too free for me. I can’t handle the responsibility. It is also the most immediate. Contrary to popular clich├ęs, there’s something obvious to me about the idea that there’s never anything to decipher in a painting. What it is is straightforward – pure perception – and given to you all at once.

Writing is, obviously, the most conceptual artform. It can never not be entirely conceptual. For many a writer, myself included, this is gripe we have with it, something we try to strategize past. Great writing is supposed to be about transcending the conceptual, but it never can. Which is also why we do it. (And no, not even poetry can.)

I have an odd relationship to dance. For me, it’s the most personal and intimate artform. I don’t often enjoy dancing with others (with some notable exceptions), but I love dancing by myself. I have a ritual of turning off the lights and letting myself go with the music.…

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