Looking for something?

11/3/11

Food, Water, Shelter, Air, Love and Art

Ever since I left fine art school and slowly started thinking of myself as an illustrator I’ve had to reconsider what “art” is. It’s the eternal question of the creative elite, innit? “What is art?” I think, much like Deep Thought stated, we’re trying to get an answer by asking the wrong question.

Really, what isn’t art?

The idea of segregating some creative things is pompous and pointless. Usually this is done as a way to separate “art” versus “craft” - and thus to make craft more lowly. (Though, any decent “high art” should also be well-crafted. So they’re not really separate at all.) But I’ve stopped believing in artistic hierarchies. I’ve also stopped believing in “-isms” but that’s slightly beside the point.

Art is just an intellectualized manifestation of aesthetic. We like things that are visually appealing. They stimulate the brain, give us emotional reactions and, ultimately, make us happier. Even when the imagery stirs up upsetting emotions, we’re happier and better off for the experience. Aesthetic is everywhere. It’s in art (be it “high” or “low”) it’s in design, it’s in construction, it’s in people and animals and nature. It sometimes happens by accident. It’s often so fleeting that  it’s only there for one second, and can only be seen by one set of eyes. Some aesthetics aren’t visual at all. Music and food and fabrics and scents - everything you see and smell and hear and taste and touch can be aesthetic and, if you’re very very lucky, a good chunk of it is.

What I’m saying isn’t any kind of mind-blowing realization that no one’s ever conceived before. In fact, it’s down-right essential. Art isn’t for the rich or the well-educated. Aesthetic is a human requirement. Food, water, shelter, air, love and pretty stuff. That’s how it goes.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like me some academic art. I just don’t enjoy things being intentionally created to alienate people who don’t have a specified learning to comprehend it. I don’t make art with the dismissive mindset of “Oh, you wouldn’t understand.” Art should say “Oh, do you not understand? Here, let me show you...” 

Then again, I’m an illustrator.
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ

1 comment:

  1. I love this. One day I found myself singing to a Sophie B Hawkins song in a TJ Maxx one day. Incredible embarrassed, I realized that I had finally given up on the academic snobbery I had worked so hard to cultivate during art school. It's fucking liberating, and I love your take on it. Art is everywhere. XO

    ReplyDelete

Sociable