Often, we find inspiration from places where we least expect it. Earlier this year, I was traveling in Europe and came across the gardens of Villa Borghese in Rome. While the gardens are themselves quite vast, the real gem lies in a villa within them. The Galleria Borghese was started by the nephew of Pope Paul V and houses an extensive collection of art & sculptures. However, what impressed me was the actual interiors of the building. Every tiny corner was decorated down to the last detail and no two rooms were alike. It was truly breathtaking.
The ceilings were simply stunning – just when I thought one room was particularly impressive, the next room used to take me by surprise. We spent a good few hours wandering through the rooms and I could have easily spent a couple of days observing the details. Even the simplest of objects was done with such elaborate attention to detail. Most people would ignore or go over a tiny nook in the corner but yet these artists still felt it important to adorn and decorate in an intricate way. Does a simple doorway need to be so exquisite? Or a niche in the wall? Why must a table have so many layers? To be honest, it doesn’t. There is no reason for their existence but they do exist and they are stunning and inspiring.
Personally, I was blown away by the dedication of the artists who went above and beyond what is required, to transform this entire villa into a piece of art. Creating 22 unique rooms is no simple feat. They must have dedicated their entire lives to their work, hoping that it will be admired by people for years to come. Admittedly they must have had a generous patron in the form of kings and popes and of course, it is not the same today. But we must endeavour as artists to constantly push the boundaries. Because art is nothing without the vision and ambition of the artist. Simply recreating other paintings/images is easy but to develop your own perspective and way of seeing the world is difficult. And that’s where real change happens.
As a creative person, I feel that one of my main goals should be to create art for no particular reason but simply to be beautiful, at least in my eyes, and inspiring. Creators often forget or don’t get to experience the impact of our work. Do you think Bernini and the other sculptors/artists would have thought their work would be gazed upon with awe, 400 years later? Maybe not. But it does and will continue to inspire and stun generations to come. And that’s what we should think about when we create something.
You can really put a financial value to the contribution of art in society. It’s subtle long term effects will only be felt over several years but it needs to be done and supported by governments. Surrounding yourself with beautiful prices of art will no doubt improve your quality of life, regardless of who you are or what you do. Knowing that someone has invested their life and time into creating something so surreal will push us also to work better, harder and smarter in whatever we do.
Some things may start off as art and unnecessary but eventually, some of them end up becoming a part of life and a necessity. They transition from a luxury to an essential. And that’s life.