CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

Art Can Help Us Understand Reality, Even While Transforming It

It Crafts Beauty and Truth from Mundane—Sometimes Ugly—Daily Existence

In their different ways, David Simon and Jamel Shabazz both have transformed gritty reality into art, drawing inspiration from the complex, often troubled urban-scapes of places like New York, Baltimore, and New Orleans.   On Wednesday night, Simon and Shabazz came together before a packed auditorium at a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event to consider the question, “Does Art Capture Reality Better Than the News?” It’s a subject that Simon, a former newspaper reporter turned television writer, and Shabazz, a former U.S. Army soldier who later worked for a spell as a corrections officer while building his photography career, have had frequent occasion to explore, both personally and as artists.   But Wednesday’s conversation, moderated by Peter Tokofsky, an education specialist at the J. Paul Getty Museum, encompassed many other themes, chief among them the role that art can play in witnessing and even healing …