According to James Feibleman, works of art have two kinds of uses; individual and social. The social uses of art are concerned with the relations between the institutions of art and other institutions while the individual use is concerned with feelings of apprehension and appreciation.
This is academic.
Personally, I believe art is either for investment – I still haven’t understood the full concept of this – and for observation/enjoyment. I see a number of beautiful creations; paintings made from water or oil based materials, wonky crafts made from junk materials, pencil sketches and the most confounding of all, sculptures. For the life of me, I can never tell what the shapes coaxed out of tree trunks are supposed to be but it doesn’t stop me from staring at it in amused wonder.
We have many talented artists in Nigeria but a large number of them remain undiscovered except on Twitter because their works gather an insane amount of Retweets. I fear a lot of them will stay undiscovered because fine art is not exactly our “thing” in these parts. Music and dance, yes, but not the fine art of painting and sculpting. I am not about to go into why I think that is.
I do think however, that we need to pay more attention to some of these artists especially the contemporary ones. There is something in the way they interpret the world and make their feelings known. I believe artists are brave people because they are not afraid of letting the world see into their soul, a slice of which is always splashed about on their canvas for our enjoyment or apprehension.
Braveness should not be overlooked. It needs to be appreciated.