Can art have a practical purpose?

Often artists try not to talk or think about, what is art for?

Some people will admit, that art can’t even have a purpose. Art for art’s sake. But this is not helpful for the viewer. If artists do not explain their work and how it can be “used” by the viewer, then art will always be this mysterious thing no one really understands. 

I like things that have a practical use case. And so did Mark Rothko. He said the following about his work:

You’ve got sadness in you, I’ve got sadness in me – and my works of art are places where the two sadnesses can meet, and therefore both of us need to feel less sad.

– Mark Rothko

Art as a place where you can go, if you feel sad. That is practical and shows that art can have purpose (that goes beyond being decorative).

We should have this in mind when we create or look at a work of art. This purpose can be totally individual and against the intent of the creator, but all art, if we like or do not like it, tells us something about and can be used by us.