The notion of the artist as prophet is a familiar motif. Once you recognize art’s spiritual dimension, it’s easy to see how both artists and prophets can be catalysts for change, communicators of truth, boundary breakers, inspired messengers, and agents of transformation. After all, both artists and prophets envision alternative narratives and challenge established norms. And each has the capacity to communicate profound insights through the use of imaginative expression. The artist with a prophetic vision calls attention to unseen truths and potential futures. Few artists embody the prophetic figure or possess an imagination like William Blake.
I wrote this essay for Plough on the occasion of a major exhibition of William Blake's work at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
The Ghost of a Flea