Monday, March 23, 2009

Last Give away!!



Okay!
This is your last chance to win a free 5x7" print by me! :)

I am had a hard time coming up with this weeks question.
But, I have managed to come up with one.

So, this whole Cranbrook experience has really made me question what art is.
It's always been a question for me, but I think my answer has gotten more and more convoluted since being here and observing some of the art that is being done and discussed here.

So what is art?

Is it only art if it hangs in a gallery, or in your home?

Is it still art if it's made by the artists assistant, but not the actual artist? Which is what happens when you become more famous than God.

Is poop smeared on a painting art?

Is gathering a group of your students together, taking a 40 minute bus ride out to nowhere, getting off, walking 20 minutes on a cold, rainy, February Portland, night, just to stand in front of your ex-girlfriends apartment, for 10 minutes, then making them all walk home, art?
This is actually a true story. The sculpture students were none to please with this, and I don't think any of them viewed it as art, let alone sculpture....

I don't really know.
I guess you could simply say that art is what the individual makes of it. But that certainly isn't a fun way to discuss art is it?

So I guess what I'm looking for are your answers.
I'm really interested in reading what your opinions and answers are to this question.
again, leave your comment here, and on Thursday evening I'll be drawing a name from all the comments made here :) Good luck!

Hope everyone has a great week!

40 comments:

Sara said...

I think art is really subjective. I don't think the currently controversial defecation artist prowling around London and dropping his pants in galleries is art (I just thinking pooping into your hand and trying to hand it to someone is gross), but I think anything that takes creativity and is made purely for the act of making it and has no functional purpose can safely be called art.

Dale Anne said...

Art is subjective. To me, ART is pleasure,candy for my eyes.
I LOVE seeing everyone's different ART!!!

devin schuyler said...

I'm going to agree with the subjectivity of art here. This is a topic that comes up all the time in my mfa program and never have I heard an answer I *fully* agree with.

I think if you set out to "create something", be it an experience, a tangible thing, a feeling - whatever, and YOU believe that it is/was art, then, at least in your world, I'd call that art. Maybe to someone else it isn't so much, but that's the beauty of the creative gift and how each of us receive it!

I do not believe you have to sell work or hang in a gallery to be an artist making ART, nor do I believe you have to have ever taken a class in art to create "it".

Man...we could go on about this for HOURS!

Anyway, thanks for doing this give away...I love YOUR ART!!!

justagirl said...

I think art can be anything you want it to be... It is a very personal thing, and it is different for everyone. I am sure there are people who would think a poo smeared canvas was art, I would think it was just a big smelly mistake!!!

I once spilled a whole container of cereal on the floor and the way it fell I thought was rather artful, I took photos, my mother on the other hand did not see any art in it what so ever, she was actually a little angry?

You must be getting really excited about moving now!!! The time has gone so fast you are counting in weeks now!

Anonymous said...

trust me.. being in nyc my whole life has really made me wonder this too... even more so when i go to the galleries in chelsea, which is supposed to be the cream of the crop of galleries in nyc! i hardly ever come away from a day there inspired! it usually leaves me wondering why I should even continue, when a lot of the work there is redundant, not well thought out and at times looks like an art school project.

to me i guess art should inspire and make one think.. make one question, challenge a thought old or new.... i have to say i do enjoy when I can see something familiar from our fellow masters peeking though...

Also...when you create art because you want to express an idea, a thought or a visual that you feel like you want to share.... and can do it in a way where it moves someone... again to think, feel or inspire....

maria

Janice La Verne said...

for me the definition of art is personal process. i can't define it by the gallery or art school, success or lack of success.

art is a discovery and a revealing of the self in a visual sphere. maybe the girlfriend/standing/walk was a necessary step in this person's process. or not.

i think the real definition of art process is if you do it even when there is no external reward, just because as a human you have to.

this was a good question Michele...

Anna Laura said...

We had some big discussions about this in art history at art school. For me I think if someone sets out to create "art" then it should be classified as such (poop, bus trips to ex giflfriend's and all the odd stuff included) but it is subjected to other people's opinion on it being art and someone might not think it is, for whatever reason. I also think a lot, well some of the art created is bullshit, sure the people making it thinks it is art, but it is wankier than a teenage boy with a porn magazine.

Jenn said...

Hi Michele,
Andy Warhol said "Art is what you can get away with." I'm with him on this one.
Art can be pretty or controversial, ugly or obnoxious or all of the above or none of it. Art can be anything - art is everywhere.
Maybe art is anything that makes your life better or anything that makes you ponder life.

Michele - Your work is just delightful. Fun, delicate, inspirational. I hope your move goes well!

-Jenn

La Alicia said...

art can be anything you want it to be - beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

BookGirl said...

Art, I think, is the result of a creative impulse (ah, you say, so what is a "creative impulse"? Well, we'll leave that one for another post.). As such, it strikes me that "art" is defined by the person who makes it.

At the same time, there's good art and bad art (and worse art and better art). For me, the best art is conceptually sound, well executed, and multi-layered, so that I see/understand/experience something new each time I take a close look.

Finally, there's a matter of taste. Something can be considered "good" art, but it may not appeal to me. I may even agree that it's "art," but still not like it.

Thanks for raising the question.

Krista said...

Art is something that is done with creative intention. God is a wonderful artist and we are merely the students.

SilverGelatin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SilverGelatin said...

When I went to Mica I felt like I learned a lot of stuff that was useless and learned even less that was useful. One thing I learned that I feel is useful is that concept that art is art simply when you decide to call it art. I think Dechamps readymades are the perfect example of this concept. Would I personally have called it art? I'd like to think not, but Dechamp called it art so therefore it is. Power to the artist and all.

2DogStudio said...

ART: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

laurabucci said...

I definitely think art is subjective. I think the line between art and craft is sometimes blurry. Sometimes the word 'craft' is problematic because it tends to lower the value of a piece that seems very artistic. It is difficult to talk in abstract terms and to generalize, so definitely art is subjective. There's all kinds of art with all kinds of purposes, sometimes it wants you to think, sometimes it is just aesthetically pleasing, sometimes nostalgic... Yeah, it's subjective.

melodie said...

Art is visual showing the music that is playing in your soul.

Andrea said...

Uh oh... thwe what is art question, I remeber having this debate many times over in art school!
I think many take advantage of the whole "anything can be art if you say it is" thing. But having said that, I always get pissed when a non arty person makes a comment about a simple piece (say a Rothco) and says that they could have done it. I simply say, then why didn't you?

Samantha said...

Art is a self-conscious process. Art is art when it's created for it's own sake, it's own existence.

Benny and the Jet said...

Hmm.

Glad to see that you've already inspired some varied responses..

I think that art is anything that was consciously created (natural art is just called beauty in my opinion) that makes you feel and think. I love public sculpture just as much as I love my own works hanging on my walls. It's still art if it's a forgotten water-colour in your grandma's attic.. I think that food can also be art (I'm a chef after all) when elevated to the right platform. I have to say that some art will make you uncomfortable, whether it's political, highlighting human tragedy, or even smelly and disgusting.

No one likes all art.

And of course, like it's been said in many of these posts above me, art is subjective.. ( I think that a spilled box of cereal is arty too, justagirl !)..

Horray for giveaways and big moves!

Nancy Topolski delicately perched said...

I think that the word "art" is too small to encompas its many parameters. There are arts and crafts, fine arts, there are artful works, there are artitic endeavors. But for me, art is when I grow or learn from being part of something that someone created. I have to have one of three things for myself when I make art, I have to learn something about myself, something about the world around me or offer these opportunites to others through my art.

Thanks again for being so generous with your art work. I just love everything you do.

Art Kitten said...

Hmm... This is quite the question. Art is something that moves you in some way, whether you are the artist creating the art, or the viewer or participant.

Tri and Justin said...

Modern Art = I Could Do That + Yeah, But You Didn’t

Veronica K said...

I also agree that art is subjective from person to person. But I feel that art is anything that someone took some thought or skill to make and that is beautiful or pleasing to you. I also think that art evokes a feeling, emotion or memory from you. I don't think a poo-stained canvas is art, but that's just my opinion.

Elizabeth Bauman said...

To me art is a combination of the personal thought process of thinking about what you are trying to communicate with your work, whether it be a statement or simply aesthetic, combined with practicing your craft over and over again. Now I suppose one could argue the person pooping has been practicing for years...

christy said...

art touches the soul whether through the maker creating it or the viewer taking it in. I respond to colors, simplicity of line and pattern both in the making and enjoying of the work.

Anonymous said...

Someone did say to me once that where craft is made from a pattern, art is made from the heart. I do both and I think I would have to agree.
Sure, theres the shock value thing happening but unless it is from the heart or he is genuinely trying to say something I think you'd have to question that.
There are a lot of "high end" artists wetting their pants at how much their latest piece sold for at their last exhibition while there are thousands of true artists working away on their kitchen tables having so much more fun even though they'll never take it any further.
thanks and all the best, sue

Karen said...

I stumbled onto your blog, and I'm making sure not to look and see what everyone else think art is before I answer. I think it can be a lot of mediums, whether it is created by a person, or by God. I think it is something that moves you somehow. I prefer art to make me feel better, to give me an uplifted feeling, although, I'm sure some art can do the opposite of creating a good feeling. But I do think it has a LOT to do with emotion. I think it is a break away from the black and white of life, to the place where we can dream and smile and feel that life is good. Karen

Seth said...

Great question...one I have often thought about myself. To me, art is self-expression. It takes so many forms and is quite subjective. It is in the eye of the creator and the eye of the viewer...and in the dynamic interaction between the two. Art doesn't have to be labeled "good" or "bad"...it just is.

Thanks for hosting another generous giveaway. Please add me to to the draw.

kat said...

One lesson I learned from my high school art teacher is to look at art and see - does it evoke? A feeling, a vivid sense of unity, a strong composition, color. This past December I was a part of a show and this one artist framed and put up his or hers two used band aids smeared with blood. I wasn't happy my famly and friends thought that it was stupid and funny enough it won first place! I was mad, but honestly I know it got people talking about it, so is that art? I will be a part of another show this April and there is one guy who framed a bag with yellow paint yeaha! you can see it here http://slowart.com/limner/current/upcoming2.htm I'd understand if it was painted but its not! I mean I don't want to judge people but isn't art supposed to be creative and thought out at least a little bit? I have noticed that galleries these days take on garbage like that, there is no real talent any more with digital cameras and photoshop, it makes me sick. Good question though!
P.S. Could I add your blog to my links?

Meg said...

Art is a touchable expression that belonged to someone else's soul, that in their generosity, they brought out into daylight to share.

Enormous Plumes of Smoke said...

I really want to win this one. But this question is so hard for me to answer. I ask myself this question all the time. I re-calibrate my answer a lot. I had a rote answer back when I was in college and thought I knew it all. Now, I think I would have to say that art is about the artist. It must come from a genuine place within the artist and to hell with what the rest of the world thinks. This is as far as I've gotten with my theories on art. I don't pretend to know everything anymore.

JG said...

What defines art? Nothing, it is completely subjective and what the world needs at the moment. I think dada is one of the most influential art eras becasue it did allow for anything to become art. It is purely whatever makes someone happy!

J C said...

Very beautiful work!

abby said...

Art to me is something very intentional--something created to be enjoyed by myself or someone else.

Andrea said...

Art, for me, is anything created that makes you feel, stirs your emotions.
Everything could be considered art--even nature!:)

candice said...

art is something created from the heart
x

moomi said...

i like tri & justin's comment, i saw it on design for mankind today! here: http://www.designformankind.com/2009/03/new-math/

lesliecooper said...

Art is... capturing a moment.

Lisa said...

Some of the best art I have seen makes me feel terribly uncomfortable. I wouldn't want it hanging in my home, but it really makes me FEEL.

Other than that, I don't know. I love to read artists statements and laugh.

Love your art.

Erika Lee Sears said...

Art is life!