Over-Spiritualizing Making Art

I get defensive when artists over-spiritualize art-making.  It has a bit of a foul smell of desperately justifying what we do.

If the emphasis is on doing and working, on utilitarian pragmatism, as Makoto Fujimura calls it, then the core of our humanity becomes obsolete.  Utilitarian pragmatism assumes that some are more important than others and we must find meaning in what we do.

When I think about my son, my godchildren, and so many friends who have children of all abilities, I know with certainty that what we do, what we’re able or unable to do, is not what makes us humans with value and worth.  It is simply that we are, that we exist, made in the image of God, that we have value, worth and importance.

There is no need to seek out the mountain-top experience meeting God in the art studio, no need to justify art-making.  Making art is a spiritual act of worship, just as is the whole of our lives.


Meena Matocha is a contemporary representational artist living and working near her hometown of Austin, TX.

Posted in Artist's Talk, Autism, Creative Practice, Inside My World, Makoto Fujimura, Mother-Artist, Motherhood, Self Awareness, Utilitarian Pragmatism

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