Monday, December 3, 2012

Defining Art

I can only imagine the reactions that this post will get. I'm guessing my readers will fall into one of two categories.  1) Art people who are going to be like, "defining Art?  Really?  Like that topic hasn't been beaten to death by pretentious scholastic wannabes and overly ambitious college kids alike" or 2) Non art people who are like, "these people make art and they don't even know what it is?"  Both fair points.

I bring this topic up because I recently read another article where an art critic is desperately trying to redefine art for the purpose of redefining art.  Now, bear in mind that is essentially like saying, instead of baking the beautiful perfect chocolate chip cookies that we love, we are now going to replace the sugar with battery acid and instead of chocolate chips we will add Micro Machines.  Why would someone do that?  Because it's different and edgy and they live and die to be different and edgy.  How postmodern.  My message is this...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Of course that doesn't mean I'm not in favor of progress and innovation.  It means I'm not in favor of progress and innovation for the sake of progress and innovation.  If you make strides toward new creative channels through your pursuit for truth and beauty, I praise you.  If you make it up so you can seem like you did, my message to you is clear: fuck off.

I teach this to my 8th graders and I refuse to accept any other definition of art:


It's not more complicated than that.  Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is selling something.


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