But is it Art?

I don’t believe anyone has the right to pick and choose what is, or isn’t art. If creating fills your life with passion and purpose, then you are an artist, and what you produce, is art.

 

ABOVE: Carl Andre, Equivalent VIII, 1966, sculpture, 5 x 27 x 90 inches, Tate Modern, Photo: © Tate, London [2014]

But is it art? The question provokes furious and impassioned debate from people of all walks of life.

Several opinions exist, but the following two are among the most popular:

If it questions nothing, and is simply an exercise in aesthetics (which are entirely subjective), then it is not art. It is decoration.

If it is all theory, and there is no finely crafted end product (e.g. – conceptual art made from found objects), then it is not art. It is rubbish.

Quite frankly, I think both arguments are nonsense. Yes, there is a lot of horrible art in both camps, but there is a lot of great art too.

As individuals, we are free to choose what we like or do not, but ultimately, our opinions are simply that: our opinions.

Critics may be well versed in the arts, but they aren’t always right. Conversely, those less educated, aren’t always wrong. It’s about balance, and both sides deserve a spot at the table.

I honestly don’t believe that anyone, regardless of their credentials, has the right to pick and choose what is, or isn’t art.

Simply put, if creating fills your life with passion and purpose, then you are an artist, and what you produce, is art.

Is it good art? That is the question.

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8 responses to “But is it Art?

  1. Good topic, thanks for bringing it up.

    We may agree on this, not sure LOL! I feel that extremes in art serve to keep all that territory in between wide open. If we somehow were able to put an end to ‘mere decoration’ as well as art that’s only conceptual, the type of work we could all do or hope to sell would be an ever narrowing range. The extremes serve to keep things fluid and open, even if we don’t like them sometimes.

    Personally I don’t think the stack of blocks in the image is art, but whoever managed to convince a lot of people it was and get it this kind of PR, was an artist in marketing. Some would say a BS artist. But my opinion is only that; I don’t wish to say that only what I think is art should be shown, because I want that freedom that comes from not excluding extremes.

    As for ‘decor,’ most of us have it. Most of us don’t expect a lot from our decor, we just enjoy looking at it. Pleasant surroundings can do a lot to improve our mood. Poorly made decor not so much maybe, but I consider decor a completely legitimate field.

  2. In my opinion, art is a thought provoking creation; whether it creates positive or negative responses. This particular piece didn’t create much response of any kind in me. But hanks David for giving food for thought.

  3. My favourite quote has to be Robert Motherwell’s “without ethical consciousness a painter is merely a decorator.”

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