Art has the power to create inspiration from hardship, the power to bring emotional clarity to difficult times, and the power to make people laugh like idiots. Artist Candy Chang, in this week’s TED Tuesday pick, describes her Before I Die project, where she took a blank public wall and created a community art piece that is as charmingly funny as it is deeply contemplative. Her experiment in public participation, with the goal of turning “a neglected space into a constrictive one” as she puts it, has grown into a global movement. Chang’s emotional and stirring talk proves that visual art has the power to heal, amuse, and bring people together in unexpected ways.
Before I Die, Candy Chang (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013)
Before I Die is a celebration of the art movement Chang describes in her talk. The book features photos and stories from some of the many “Before I die I want to ____” public walls that have been created all over the world. It’s heartbreaking, hilarious and thoughtful—and a perfect read for someone looking for a little perspective on life.