In today’s morning meeting, we found ourselves talking and debating around an issue that really has no conclusion. The question itself seemed to get people a little riled up, and some laughed at just how pretentious we all sounded discussing this topic. The question, in question is “What is art?”
Now I know that this could be considered a a conceited morning meeting, but people raised some interesting points. Some scoffed at the idea of an unmade bed being considered art where as others accepted it and thought art was just any expression that provoked a reaction of some kind. The dictionary’s definition of ‘Art’ is as follows.
“The expression or application of creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting, drawing, or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”
So everyone getting angry over an unmade bed being considered ‘art’ have technically validated it under this definition. With such a subjective subject its hard if not impossible to come to a conclusion. Another, more conservative thought was that Art should be restricted to specific mediums and regarded highly by most people. Under this definition, popularity dictates whether or not something is art.
The traditional vs the alternative
In actuality, a lot of the art world is fundamentally corrupt. The fine art world is filled with loop holes and elitist agendas. What is considered ‘Art’ and not ‘Art’ is primarily decided by a small group of collectors. The price fixing of art generally just benefits those who are already in the syndicate. Fine art galleries often turn away most buyers who aren’t seen as “prestigious” enough. Once the gallery sells to these elite buyers, it raises the prices of the rest of their artwork. Art auctions are also corrupt, people are paid to bid to raise the prices of the artwork and sometimes auctioneers pretend to see bids for the same reason; and those that are within these circles are completely fine with it, as the higher a painting by an artist they collect sells for, the more valuable their collection is perceived to be. Fine art is also used to dodge taxes, collectors commission appraisers to price their art in a ridiculous bracket and then ‘Donate’ the art to a museum.
As much as we would like to think we have a say in what is considered art, in reality its rigged. but I digress. The lighter side of this is that art is unique to everyone, each person has their own perceptions and experiences that shape how they see the world. How unique we are is a beautiful thing. If people are able to convey their thoughts and feelings to another person it should be celebrated no matter the medium or method. No matter the label applied to it or whether it is sold for millions, as long as it serves the creators intentions it has value.