The greatest artistic creations are never quite perfect. For to be great there needs to be a seed of unease, of tension, of destruction.
It is in this balance, or imbalance, between creation and destruction that artistic unity and greatness can be achieved.
In nature there is a continuous play between life, death and rebirth. Change happens as the life cycle rolls on. Art needs to have the possibility of change, destruction and rebirth embedded within its core. It is when art possesses these qualities that it is truly alive.
Sometimes these tensions are hidden within a form of beauty that is clear to see. Many of the formal elements of design, like colour theory, composition and spacial balance, are ways to hold these seeds of tension within a structure that is stable.
Other times a work of art does not hold the seed of life and lacks the spark of tension necessary to hold the viewers attention.
To enable the possibility of life in a work of art, the artist should take the risk of walking the line between creation and destruction.
Tom McPherson's blog on art and creativity.
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