Column is a monthly feature that explores the world
of creativity and aesthetics.
Good Art, Bad Art
de Sousa, Director, AbleStable
Art surrounds us at every turn. Some we
consider good, and much we consider of no particular
value. Can anyone produce art?
What is 'good art'?
art comes the maker of art. Some who produce
art call themselves artists, some are named
as artists by others, yet many makers of art
neither consider themselves artists, nor are
by their contemporaries.
artworks for example were not originally intended
to be 'art', but
come to be known of as art today. National
around the globe present objects that were
originally created for their functional, religious,
significance, Objects produced to connect an
to a deity,
which, through their form and beauty, are now
considered as 'art'. These objects are displayed
in the rarefied world of the gallery as our
categorisation of the world
has changed since their production.
More recently the word 'Artist' (pronounced
'artist' rather than 'arteest') has undergone
another transformation to include singers
compose music, nor in many cases have any
creative input in the production of their music.
These are not 'artists' as I would define the
word. My view is that an 'artist' must be the
of a creative work rather than someone whose
primary activity is
to perform. The act of performance is very different
than that of creation. Performers replay the
artwork of another, be it dance, drama, or music.
The root of these activities, choreography,
writing, and composition, are the primary
occupations of artists whose work is performance
Definition of Art
a deep breath for this next sentence, I'm trying
to define art in a more inclusive way than I
have in the past:
be related to:
beauty or its opposite (aesthetics); expression; personal enrichment; or the communication of
ideas (political or otherwise) in a symbolic
context (for example, poetry, fiction, and
other written texts).
This is an extension of
definition of 'art'
as 'the products of human creative activity
we've got a definition of art it's easier to
say what for me is good art. The simple answer
is 'art I like'. Art I like supports my criteria
of what art is, and follows my personal taste.
My taste is of course different than yours, and
easy to assume ones own taste is 'better', especially
when it's based on lengthy experience and consideration
of a particular art medium. Art works however
on a personal level. It interacts with
our experience and
feelings about the world. If an art object like
a painting doesn't connect with our 'world picture',
it will not be 'good art' for us, no matter what
the strengths of argument another may have in
this flexible view of what good or bad art is,
does not sit easily within a formal learning
environment. In schools, colleges, universities,
and other places of learning, knowledge is tested
so achievements can be recorded. As with many
areas in life, methods of recording
achievement through examination
often fails to record the understanding
of the individual, and the 'examination of understanding'
is far more problematic than the recollection
arguing 'good art is art I like', I am trying
to be honest about
the way most of us experience art and view
its status. It seems important not to assume
certain learned responses about
good art should be.
Art Critic and Teacher
which does not seem good to you may however be
presented by others as good. For example,
art critics and art teachers may spend many
hours in justifying their view
of a given
good or bad art. Critics and teachers of art
have a vital role in
formally presenting and persuading us about
their view of art. Their views may be supported
other works, and to certain 'principles of
adhere to (for example, they may reference
a body of previous similar works, or research
on a particular art medium to promote their case).
makes no difference however what others have
said to justify art as good,
although others may well come to change
an artwork and may even alter our experience
of it. In other words 'bad art'
become 'good art',
but only if we are convinced about the
strength of another's view, and are willing
to change our own.
of the most important characteristics
of being creative is
the ability to see the world with a flexible
and open mind. As soon as we restrict
our view, our possibilities and potential
wither. When someone likes an object
we don't, it is far better we ask
than ask them why they do...
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