Thursday, July 9, 2009

What is Art?

Having thought about this over the years, I am going with this definition for the time being --

Art is a commentary. It is a comment on something. That comment may speak to someone else -- and that is the connection whether it is joy, insight, mystery, enlightenment, delight, sorrow and so on. It can be executed with any method. We don't always understand the comment. Sometimes, we do not value the comment.

I am less sure on the "skill" side of art. Here is my shot at it --
Skill, craftsman-ship, elements of drawing, handling of materials- all of these are the tools of the artist just as hammers and saws are tools for the carpenter. The better-skilled artist may be able to execute the art/comment to a higher degree of quality/clarity/intent.

That's my very short, 2 cents.

How this fits into art fairs is my current ideological struggle. Art fairs are all about money which is good because we need money to survive. When does art become "product" and no longer art? I don't know. I do find this troubling. When I am overwhelmed by the question, I look to my personal models who do create art and do very well at it. I achieve some clarity from that reflection.

That's my other 2 cents.

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The Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Art Library (Video)

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