The Luxury of Personal Creativity

After the Holocaust some artists gave up art believing (with good justification) that nothing could express the horrors of the concentration camps. It was better to put one’s life to the service of other people, or to fight injustice. Other artists switched to more deliberately abstract art forms, or from prose to poetry.

Art and personal creative production isn’t a given. It’s an indulgence of sorts, a luxury associated with a selfishly comfortable lifestyle, having enough ‘leisure time’ to pursue these interests. I’m not keen on loaded terms like ‘privilege’ and ‘entitlement’ (which have become stand-ins for expletives) but any of us who have time for ‘personal creativity’ (either for ourselves or for a wider audience) are lucky indeed.