Saturday, 7 June 2014

What is Art? (Baby don't hurt me)

My darling younger sister and I have had many a discussion (well, two.) on what it is that actually constitutes art. 

She is of the opinion that Art is things like paintings, drawings and sculptures of the classical nature- the kind where it's taken hundreds of hours of practice to be able to accurately represent something that is legitimately there. Picasso, Van Gogh, etc. She says that music can also be art, but only classical pieces that have survived through the ages, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Bach. She also agrees with the Oscar Wilde quote that "art is quite useless" and is only there to be looked at/listened to and is a frivolous thing to enjoy but goes no further. 

I believe she is wrong. Utterly, butterly, completely wrong. 

I am of the opinion that art can be created by anyone, skilled or not, and the only thing that defines whether or not it is art is if it invokes a feeling in the viewer/listener/watcher. Call me pretentious, in fact please do I studied at University in How to Be a Pretentious Twat, but I think art doesn't just mean things like the Mona Lisa. Art is everywhere. I can look at a baby's dummy left on a park bench and think it art, because it invokes a feeling. It could tell a Hemingway style story in just one image, not six words. As long as it stirs something in you, it is art. 

This could even be expanded to current pop music. Say there's a current singer, let's call her K£sha, that a lot of people think is just awful. Her music is auto tuned nonsense. But I'd wager those people, if they were out on the town or even just tidying their kitchen, some of them at least- if a song by K£sha came on they would want to dance. Their bums would start twitching and they just couldn't help themselves. I'd call that art. Whether that makes K£sha an artist or not is another matter entirely.

Stretch it even more, to the web comics that are just about everywhere on the internet (even off the internet) these days. Do they make you laugh? It's art to you then. Do they make you mad because they're just so gosh-darned inane? Art. The only way they would not be classified as art is if you were completely neutral to them, the way you might be to your bedside table. 

That is how I see art. 

And that all was little deep and pretentious for my liking so here's a comic from the amazing Shenanigansen at OwlTurdComix.


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