Saturday, March 31, 2007

What is art? some questions...

This article has been on my web pages in similar form for a few years.

This rose is lovely, but the plant and the photo , well they are not exactly art. But what is art?

What’s the difference between art and decoration? Nice colors, a pleasant sound, an emblem of some barely attainable perfection? Is it art or craft?

Or need it be a philosophical statement? If it's art, there must be beauty, yes? No? If it's art there must be a message, right?

Does art have a meaning, deep significance that transcends the generation in which it was created... or does it? Must the significance be a concept expressible in words? Or does art have to embody the ineffable? Is it a mystery? Is it “spiritual?” errrr....

Who gets to say whether a given work is "ART!" Is this solely the purview of self-declared critics, experts, appraisers, historians? The creation of current high-end market forces? The aspiration of cultural social climbers? Is the art of writing mere nattering? Is avante garde art the froth of madmen and misfits, practitioners of liminality, the product of twisted intellect gone astray?

I personally think that it's the spotty legacy of a species of ape that is materially and ideologically busy beyond any of its closest kin, an expression, a sort of cultural phlegm - the unavoidable by product of breathing and growing and moving in the surrounding cultural air when one is more or less allergic.

Do artists know when they are art-making and when they are just fiddling around? Or are those the same? I am just asking a few questions here.... -- mad mar (Mistryel) walker