The older I get, the more I am convinced that there is no reason to create. Fellini once said asking him why he creates is like asking a hen why she lays eggs. (I am sure the fact that the hen lays eggs every day doesn’t make it any easier for the hen.)
There was a time when I could give a dozen reasons for painting, writing or doing any kind of creative work. I truly believed that I could change the world with my art. I also believed that an artist had a mission and that one creates in order to convey a certain message, to communicate his ideas or at least use his creativity as an outlet. However, I now believe that the only reason I create is because I cannot not create. Painting or writing is a biological urge. It is like defecating, urinating or throwing up. It is almost a biological function and it’s the only way for me to maintain some kind of sanity. Hence Freud’s theory of sublimation, which, simply put, means channeling one’s socially unaccepted urges into acceptable ones. In other words, purifying urges as one processes them out of one’s system.
I think it was Alberto Moravia who coined the term “de-sublimation”. Meaning, sometimes, when there is nothing left to purge, you simply fucking things up, in order to be able to purge them later on.
Vahe Berberian, “Berge” 48×60 Acrylic on canvas 2011
Photo by: Mher Vahakn