The art of authenticity

By Emma Höngens - 18 May 2022

When I heard of this times' Intermania theme, I had difficulties finding something to write about. Not because I couldn't come up with a topic, but just because 'art' is such a broad topic. There are so many incredible artists, interesting paintings, fascinating artistic movements, great museums, and exciting stories in art history. So where to begin?


We're living in difficult times. At this moment, we're at the end phase of a pandemic, there's a massive housing crisis in the Netherlands and an ongoing war is happening barely two thousand kilometres to the east of our homes.” In periods of uncertainty and (political) tension, culture gives insight in the situation and supports us. Composers, musicians, dancers, singers, painters, and other artists teach us important things by the execution of their art. Their art is what those people live for and have lived for, for centuries. They tell us a story by their work. Each individual piece of art could teach you something. 

But that's not what I want to focus on. Artists teach you more than just the message they want to convey with their work. They teach you that you should do, think, and say what you have in mind instead of suppressing this. The Netherlands is a free country in which you can express yourself without fear for your life. Still, people are not acting like they live in freedom. When asking people about their opinion regarding certain subjects, most of them say they do not have a particular view on things. I think this is harmful. I’m not saying we should all form an opinion about everything, but in my view, everyone in our generation should form their own, individual opinion about important matters and stand up for their rights.  

Famous artists like Picasso, Van Gogh, and composers like Chopin, and Bach are successful because they dared to be different; they were authentic. Do you think Picasso would have been this revolutionary and important for art history when he would have painted the way former artists did? -No he wouldn't. He made his own art instead of copying what others did. So instead of adopting your friends' opinions, think an extra time what your view on a certain topic is, like Pablo Picasso would have done. 

Rembrandt van Rijn also had his own view on painting and art. Although he didn't necessarily want to paint important people of that time, he had to in order to earn money. Still, within these boundaries Rembrandt expressed himself the way he wanted to. He played with the light and composition of the paintings. Thus, even within the beaten path it is possible to have your own opinion, develop yourself, and express what you find. 

Art teaches us that expressing yourself is important. For expressing yourself you need to develop your own opinion and not copy this from others. We live in a free country, so make sure that you use the right and freedom of expressing your individual thoughts. We don't have to be revolutionary like Rembrandt but standing up for your rights and acting like you want to, is a great good. Your individual opinion matters. So let's stand up for our rights and be authentic! 


Intermate is the study association of the bachelor Technical Innovation Sciences, the majors Sustainable Innovation and Psychology & Technology and the masters Human Technology Interaction and Innovation Sciences.


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