Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Recognizable Vs. The Absurd

What is art?  What defines it?  Is it skill, process, intent or a combination of all three? If a piece is made using only skill, you get only craftsmanship. If a piece is made using only process you get disjointed parts and if a piece is made using only intent the end result can be too pointedly specific to be interesting.  Good art, art that "works" is a variable of all three qualities.  Unfortunately, most people who see art, not to be confused with art viewers, get stuck on a very limited interpretation of what constitutes art.  Most of it is classically-based, conventional, oil painting and figurative sculpture and everything else is just "stupid, ugly, pointless or confusing." This is an unfortunate viewpoint, as the point of visual art is to uplift, inspire and even educate. One only has to be open for the experience.

Not sure how to remedy this.  I just think it's damn unfortunate that 99% of the people are only open to 9% of what is out there. I think it's rooted in the fact that our public school arts education potential was scrapped long ago due to budget cuts, etc. It's on the viewer to educate themselves about art/ art history, cinema, music, dance, drama and the like.  I could take the road that supposes " people are stupid" but I don't believe that.  I suppose after a certain point in one's life (high school or college) if one hasn't been exposed to a certain way of thinking, then there is a very good chance that they will never be open to it.  Most people would rather be entertained than elucidated.