by Daniel Benshana

There are many ways in which painters see differently to those who do not draw or paint. Just as musicians hear sound in ways non-musicians cannot. It is not just the myriad of colours, tones and hues in things. It is the ability to detect realities behind reality. Let me take you on a journey.
Politically we have been told that Democracy and Communism are poles apart in their approach to managing nations. However, they are both capitalist entities for at no time did communists build society without money, and its powerful abused their privileged status to garner riches to themselves, just as in capitalist societies. Money is an enclosed system bearing no relationship to anything outside of the human race. As an enclosed system its demands have brought us into conflict with nature, and are directly attributable to the climate crisis. Economic values are not those of nature. Its ethical values are always in conflict with our aspirations, its empathetic values are so broken it has been the cause of some of the worst events in human history and its intellectual status it nothing more than a series of wants in spite of needs.
If we analyse it properly we all have the freedom to think, and in democratic societies we have freedom of speech – an essential for evolving nations. But because we are in an enclosed system the only other freedoms we have are to make money and spend money. That’s it.
We are all aware that the relationship to money of artists around the world and down history has never been easy. For every artist who has become wealthy there are a dozen who struggle. Many who die in poverty. It is not because they do not have the potential to make money; it is because money cannot recognise them. In our system money does our thinking for us. What is affordable? What does affordable mean to an animal struggling with the challenge of having an intellect and foraging for ethical behaviour?
Artists have struggled with issues of nationhood and been a part of every nation; with ideas of patriotism and been involved in every war or individuality in a community, or injustice and the means employed to gain justice and above all, communication, on every level.
If you can see any of the things I have outlined here, if you can judge them to be close to insight, you have begun to see like an artist.


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