Maps Glover pens an essay on "What is Art"


Maps, photo © 2016 Marta Staudinger

Maps Glover is a conceptual artist based in the Washington DC area. His work is a combination of thoughts and reactions to the present state of human behavior. He works from a futuristic perspective, documenting the present as if it is the past, with a focus on people and the current state of society. Through paintings, sculptures, drawings, video, installations, and performance, Maps Glover creates an entire world for you to explore.


What is Art? Words and images by artist, Maps Glover

I hate being asked the question “What is art?”, as if it needs defining. I know its cliché to compare art to air or breathing but in all honesty that is what it feels like for me. Art is thought. Art is the result of intense or flowing thought put into action. Art forces you to solve problems about form, color, texture, meaning, and emotion. It is the manifestation of something invisible. 

Growing up in a small town in Maryland my access to art was limited. The only people I knew that were producing art was my friends and I. I was creating drawings about people I saw at school or while daydreaming in class. During long car rides with my family I would draw lines. As the car pulled and pushed my pencil back and forth across the paper I generated images that would later become the inspiration for my current work. I was a child just passing the time, fashioning images purely out of instinct stimulated by boredom.  

In my opinion, the process of spending your time creating something out of nothing makes you an artist. In our current society the only artists who are recognized for providing something useful to society are those who garner a financial commodity. Those who live their lives expressing what it feels like to be alive are usually ignored. I generally believe that in the present day the public does not truly value the importance of art or art making.  This lack of value is due to no fault of their own. I blame a culture of people who are unable to realize the true expression of what it means to be an artist or if an artist’s authenticity is even important. 

My current creative process is one that I believe can only be defined as “millennial rebellionism.” It is a term that I believe describes me and a lot of other contemporary artist I have seen and collaborated with to birth original artwork. As millennials, we have the ability to rapidly retain large amounts of information, react to it, and then discard what information we have gathered whether we feel the information is of importance or not. Maybe we do not actually discard the information but simply unconsciously elect to forget. 

“Millennial Rebellionism" is a genre of art that breeds a unique experience for the viewer upon various inspections of the same piece. This genre defies traditional concepts of art and communication because the world that the artist resides in is vastly different than any other period in human history. The difference can be found in the way we communicate, travel, find love, and even in the ways that we fight. In our world these experiences are augmented and fabricated but they are also our reality. Millennial artist are brave, honest, hungry and fearless with the intentionality to blaze a trail in this new era and become respected in the world of art.

My definition of art was developed from experiences in which art has helped me to say things my words were incapable of expressing. We are all in this together demanding to be heard and forcing ourselves to be seen. I hope when we ask ourselves the question, “What is art?” we should unanimously answer ART is ART!