Dictionary.com defines the noun Art as “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance”. I would like to take issue with part of this as I don’t believe that Art has to be beautiful or adhere to aesthetic principles. Beautiful is relative to one’s own particular view. That which is beautiful to Jethro from the sticks would most certainly differ from that of Barrack from the White House, right? And what about Stevie Wonder? His ‘beautiful’ must be different from everyone, as he is blind. And yet, Stevie finds beauty in the music and his craft. Does dictionary.com’s definition fit that kind of beauty? Actually, it does, with the catch-all phrase at the end of the definition, “or of more than ordinary significance”. I’m a little confused here, because, given that phrase, wouldn’t most anything out of the ordinary be considered Art? How can that be?
Does your brain hurt? Mine is beginning to cramp.
Going back to my original inspiration to blog about the subject of Art, “The View” showed a performance art piece where a guy was sitting inside a grand piano, and playing a classical song backwards, while the piano was moving. When asked how this could be considered art, the guest said that normally, we view a piano player from the back, and the piano is not moving. Since the piano was moving and the piano player was, indeed, facing the audience, this was considered Art.
Oh yea, I’m convinced. Uh huh.
I like to think I am a liberal, open-minded, educated and somewhat worldly woman. That being said, I will accept dictionary.com’s definition of Art. As long as no one gets hurt. While abhorring violence in any form, I must agree that horrible things, by our definition, could be considered Art. What if someone paints a picture of a car accident, with people’s brains spattered all over the pavement?
Is this where my open-mindedness is supposed to kick in?
Yes, that would be Art. Not beautiful or esthetically pleasing. But certainly “of more than ordinary significance”. Does that make you rethink your next trip to the art gallery? You never know what you might see there these days. Apparently, it’s called Art when the artist takes a seat in a chair in the middle of the gallery, and stares at people, one by one, for hours at a time. I wish I could get a gig like that. I’m really talented in the ‘sitting’ area. I can sit for days. Why am I wasting my time writing and sketching my brains out, when my money-maker could very well be my sitting-down place?
Or maybe my open-mind closes up a bit upon the entering, stage left, of the fucking ridiculous.
I’m going with a more delicate, simple and poetic view of Art. I believe that Art, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. And the beholder can be the artist or the interpreter of the Art. So baby, if you don’t think a pile of dung in the middle of a dirt road, or a pile of naked bodies in the middle of a still-life orgy, or a giant ball of toxic waste material featured on the news is Art, then it’s not. Keep in mind, though, that if enough people disagree with you, somebody’s making a lot of money somewhere. Loosen your mind up any? I’m still working on that.
Disclaimer: No marijuana plants were injured during the making of this post.