Monday, March 28, 2011

Art. A subjective matter

This morning I came across a post from one of my daily reads. Go look at her here if you like happy stuff. She is upset today over some twitter messages that got posted over the weekend. I recommend reading the post so that you can see what I am talking about.

Not one to get into twitter flame wars OR to take self help classes, I took something else from her upset.

Art. It's subjective. Really.

There is no specific definition of the term "art:". Likewise, there is not real job description for the designation of "artist". One person's art is another person's doorstop.

You have people with a natural aptitude for portraiture, color composition, the building of amazing structures. You have people who spend a lifetime in school to be able to do those very same things.
You have people who ejaculate on a canvas, paint it, and put it up for sale. I wish I was kidding. I wish I wasn't being literal. Not my style. Or my doorstop.

I study art every day. Not because I am a critic or a student, but because I love to see what a human can accomplish. Simple line drawings, vvibrant paper crafts, quilts, paintings, colorful soap, sculpture. Things that make me go, oooh. It is inspiration to me to see the beautiful things that other people make. A well made piece of anything will make me want to go home and create beauty for myself. I love to go to the state fair and look at the things people have made. Fine furniture with impossible curves, carefully hand stitched quilts, photography that takes my breath away.

There is a lot of what I would consider crap out there. But it is not my business to question the creator's belief that they are an artist. I will question whether they should sell that glitter encrusted pile of poo they found in their yard, (It's angel poo! see the halo?) but it is my choice not to buy it and regretsy's job to post it where I can look and giggle. Or gasp in horror.

I'm also not a fan of modern art. I can see the Nevada Museum of Art from my desk and I will be the first to tell you in not very nice terms that I don't care for the sculptures out front. But someone liked the design enough to commission them. And since they hold up to the crazy weather here, they must be well made. I recognize that even though I wouldn't put those sculptures in my yard.

I guess what I am not getting at, is although I may not like all of it, I would never tell someone to stop creating. I can't imagine questioning their ability to make something, and never tell them they should not share the knowledge they have. What makes an expert? Time in the field? Schooling? How about life? Intuition? How can one person's talent, schooling, and/or experience be more valid than another person's? What gives me the right to say, "I am an artist and you are not"? I may sometimes exclaim, "Good Lord! You have got to be kidding me!" across the cube farm, but I also accept that folks may say the same about my creations.

And they have, just not in so many words. I recently mentioned my Butt Soap in a forum and the response was "It's just brown". I didn't argue. They were apparently looking for something different (Pink, actually, but I say, not all butts are pink. There are plenty of perfectly valid brown butts out there.) and anyway, the name makes me giggle and draws attention to my product. Can't fault that. It may not have been what those people were looking for, but I have sold enough Butt Soap to know that some people are.

There are also those who would tell you that I am a crafts person, not an artist. And that's fine too. I don't need a label, I just need to create. Wanna come over and glue glitter to random stuff with me?


Zube said...

Ginamonster, I love you. I really, really do. I sometimes get down about my writing because I stumble upon these people whose writing is poetic and mine is, anything but(t). I'm still a writer. I just don't write pretty.

Also? I just hate meanness. And not niceness.

Ginamonster said...

Zube, you should never get down on your writing because it's fun and it's real. It is grammatically correct and spelled correctly, even if you make the word up.

beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And I think your writing is very pretty.

Ernie said...

Many of today's artists are lazy. They work on their craft to get a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

So, instead of creating art and finding people who love it, they appeal to the NEofA and get many times more for their creations than if they had to find people who it appealed to. That is why there is often a major uproar when someone does "art" that offends the norm.

An example is, "Piss Christ". People have done worse things to defame the name of Christianity (I am refering to artwork, not the preachers who say one thing from the pulpit and live a life diametrically opposite), but those people did not generate as much opposition from Christians because they did it on their own. however Piss Christ was funded through the NEofA.

The anger came from knowing our taxes went to something that we would never had funded, if we had a choice.

GM, much of what you do is inded art. Some of what I create I consider art. But, we don't go looking for the government to fund us. Instead, we find people to whom our art attracts to buy it.