Not so long ago, we had a healthy debate on the line between photography and art (if you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend spending some time on both the main article and the comments – especially the comments). In yesterday’s photoessay, I attempted something different. Distilled out of this are a few thoughts and interpretations on the definition of art…
The communication of an idea in a way that can be understood by any audience
Something done well, purely for the sake of doing it well, and with no other gimmicks or external factors. It has to have integrity.
Exercising creative choice through the preferences and biases of the creator
A work that helps the audience see something they would not otherwise have seen
A work whose value derives from isolation and display of the unusual
A work that, above all else, brings satisfaction to the creator
A work that the creator believes is art: if they do not, how can they convince others?
A work that stands alone and does not require context or other external factors to have an impact on an audience
A work that provokes thought in the viewer; one that is remembered and discussed later
Something that affects us emotionally or brings about a response
Evolutionary: it needs to have some sort of baseline or social context in order to be understood. The closer the baseline to the commonplace, the more easily understood it might be, but likely the less original the idea. The more obscure, the stronger the idea, but the fewer the number of people who will be able to interpret it.
Not easy to make an exact copy of.
Subjective: open to interpretation by the viewer, and has its success dictated by the impact it has upon that viewer.
Art is not:
Something created purely for profit
Always original or new; but the presentation of it may be
Easily decoupled from the whims of the wealthy and influential
Limited by scarcity or quantity; the original may only exist once, but in order for it to be seen, it may be reproduced many times – just not necessarily in the same format
Now, discuss :) MT
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