November 21, 2018

Why even call it art?

How many times must we get into discussions with people on what qualifies as art? Some say that there are a great deal of many things that do, but really are there? The classifications today have unfortunately widened beyond incomprehensibility, or really any rationality.

People at times tend to place some objects in a public place, or on a display, paint some lines on a canvass and call it art. Whether this is somehow accepted in their own deluded heads is truly none of anyone’s concern, but what the problem is that other people accept it as so in a bout of collectivism.

Many say that abstract-nouveau art is not about aesthetics but rather about ideas. Well the truth is that today in 2014 such ideas are saturated as there has been nothing new in the annals of artistry but regurgitation of the same formulaic comments on social and political aspects of a certain society.

It is no longer the age of Duchamp, whose ideas instilled in people actual thought. No, today individuals create things not just for the sake of creating art, but for the sake of calling themselves artists. Which is a bastardization of the word in itself. It simply no longer works because it has been overdone, that is why those  who promote modern art rarely have any originality to them.

It is their insistent obsession of creating the new edge, the new original ideas, that really makes them so unoriginal in the first place, and detracts from the aesthetics in the things that they create. Art must be original, but using your feces and other body fluids to produce it does not make it art. Or does it?

A great deal of many of those who produce such low-art are constantly reiterating that it must not be compared to anything that has ever preceded it as the contexts of the modern day are excessively different. Despite that these people only mention the obvious in that society today is remarkably different from the past(Bravo on their parts!), it is human nature to compare art, and yes even if that means changing the way we define it, as such definitions are not arbitrarily placed in the moment but are a complex synthesis of both past cultural artistic endeavours, with present ones, and future aspirations.

What am I on about?

Truly how can you compare the beauty of Marc Chagall's work, whose paintings are, without even going into an elaborate art history analysis, simply elegant and truly original feats of artistry with that of someone like the modern Meret Oppenheim who covered tea cups in fur.

Yes I am comparing. Which one is more difficult to achieve? Which requires more labour, skill, I dare say, talent? Although both Oppenheim and Chagall are on the opposite sides of a long spectrum, to compare them is to realize that yes value does exist in art, although you as the individual creates it and calls it so, does not mean that it truly is art, or that you are an artist.

If we step outside of Jewish art history for a second, and look at other artists, such as Rembrandt, whose beautiful portraits are still the subject of debate, and the art of people such as Ai Weiwei who chose to destroy historical artifacts that date hundreds of years in order to make a point. Which of the two put more work in their work? Which one of the two created something?

If I wrote 4 lines of text, called it a poem, then called myself a poet and instantly put myself in the same category as John Keats. Do you not see the ridiculousness  and really arrogance of people’s intents? It is almost mischievous that they choose to place themselves along with the greats, by simply creating low, bland, and egregious things they chose to call art.

Yet we have to understand that this depreciation and devolution in artistry in the last few decades can be easily attributed to the illiteracy of the masses in understanding it in the first place. The truth is that the number of those that care about it is diminishing rapidly, as a result of the current culture, or better said lack of culture, that seemed to be more interested on categorizing people and things, rather than producing great pieces.

Today everyone can be an artist, or a writer, or a novelist. It’s easy! That is primarily the problem as to why the saturation of which I alluded to is so prevalent today. Produce original work, but do not turn a sign upside down in public and call it art.

Semantics and language are devious things, and to use them for your own benefit to prove points that have been proven countless times before is everything but original. Art has to be worthy to be called art, and the same goes for the artist.