Dan Chudzinski

Portrait by Dave Casperson

Portrait by Dave Casperson

Art is faith. It is not defined by the will of the individual, but through the individual’s willingness to commit themself to a higher purpose. For this reason it cannot be faked. It is never a hobby, something that can be engaged when convenient, but a lifestyle. Each work becomes a prayer, an offering of time, blood, and passion. Art is a tangible act of devotion. It is the willingness to endure fatigue, criticism and frustration. It enables one to approach dauntless tasks, even when they do not know how, simply because they know that they must.

Along the way, the artist is offered countless reasons to walk away, to retreat to the safety of their comfort zone, to let others find the answer. Yet within the artist builds an increasing pressure: inspiration. To ignore this voice, to turn one’s back, condemns the vision to a slow and quiet death. The message perishes without the world ever knowing it. It becomes the priority of the artist to pursue that vision no matter what the cost. However, the artist knows that even after the completion of the work, the pressure never fully subsides.

Art is not something that is understood upon the completion of a single work. It is developed and nurtured over the course of a lifetime. The process empowers, yet humbles. Art is the ability to transform a lump of clay into a vision that brings a stranger to laughter or tears, for reasons they cannot fully explain. The completed work is a manifestation of unbridled passion, presenting itself through the soft whisper of grace or grasping the soul with terrifying fury. It forces the viewer to believe, though they have had every reason to doubt and delivers a message so powerful it is not restricted by the barriers of language, culture, or even death. Through the act of creation the artist becomes a conduit of this message. The artist endures, so that in time, so will the message. The final work is but a glimpse of the divine will that inspired it.