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The mass media of the consumer society has created a pop culture with a relatively short attention span, one long enough to take in an MTV video or complete a computer game but too short to wrap around some serious reading which would increase knowledge or inspire critical thinking or change human perception.

In this context, fine art can bridge the widening gap between an over-stimulated, fragmented, sensationalist rock ‘n roll culture and the more ordered, deeper world of thought, logic, knowledge and meaning. In an era of advert-saturated, superficial and raw imagery flashed on TVs and computer screens, it is the work of art that creates a private space that becomes timelessly quiet when the soul of the artist connects with the soul of the viewer, sharing an idea, an experience, a view of the world. Art should be first authentic, second evocative and third deeply structured. Who needs more fragmentation, more sensationalism, more commerce, more politics? Surely, humanity is crying out for more meaning, more beauty, more peace, more design, more order?

By all means, let the bands play on. But the endless parade of prima donna politicians, super-rich celebrities, flashy pop stars and socially and environmentally unfriendly corporate leaders make up the upper crust of post-modern culture will not bring any peace or meaning to our world. I would like to stand for beauty, meaning and wonder in art. If one work of art can restore even one iota of the mystery which inheres in the universe to one other person, it will be that picture that is worth a thousand words.

Michael J. Lee