Sunday, September 03, 2006


One of the things I love the most about the guerrilla painter is how profound his off-the-cuff replies sometimes are. Last week I mentioned to him a story I’d heard on NPR about how Jan Brueghel collaborated with Rubens, one painting the landscape and the other the figures. It seems the art market in 16th century Belgium was so lively that artists arranged themselves into assembly lines, each contributing what he did best. Carl’s comment was, “Back then, art wasn’t Art.”

That got me thinking, “Who defines what 'Art' is, anyway?"
Is it the establishment? Whatever is seen in the context of museums, galleries, schools and publishers?
Is it the investors, the collectors, the critics?
Is it the person who views the work?
Is it the artist him/herself?
Is Art anything that’s done for the sake of pure expression rather than for commercial or practical purposes?

We have more artists today that ever before, as well as more techniques & materials, not to mention more history to refer to.

Art mirrors so many different values: innovation, emotion, skill, color, human form, religious truths, patriotism, irony...

Maybe trying to define it is just a trap, something that gets in the way of creating, appreciating, communicating, practicing & playing.

1 comment:

Linda Blondheim Art Studio said...

Good post. One of the biggest problems I see these days, is the number of painters who want to define what is acceptable and what not. There seems to be a plethora of art police these days.