Here’s the thing. It’ s been a while since I’ve noticed that the word “artist” was becoming widely used. It makes me wonder whether the world is dealing with an extremely strong generation of artists, or whether that’s something else. The Internet is suffering from information overload anyway, but there are so many things represented as “art” and so many people represented as “artists” which forces me to ask – how do we define art and is it possible that it does not exist anymore?
Let’s face the truth. No one is original enough anymore because all the great themes in art have already been done before a million times. That doesn’t mean there are no great things anymore, but what kind of bothers me is the “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit” attitude. It’s trendy and cool to use certain types of cell phones, wear certain labels and like certain things. It’s trendy and cool because someone told us so and for some people it just feels good to follow the trends. It’s the same with art. Some things just have the “it’s so cool” sticker and that’s how the trends arise.
But what I was trying to say in the first place. The same thing which was described in case of trends is relevant for art. Apparently it’s commonly accepted that some works of any given type are perceived as artworks. And no matter what your brain tells you, it seems like there’s no room for questioning. What makes the art, art then? Recently I had this conversation with one of my friends. Since he’s a big fan of music and his knowledge is impressive, he gave me an example of pop music. Neither of us listen to the radio since we just don’t like that kind of popular music which has lost its meaning over time. On the other hand we can’t say it’s crap. How could you possibly judge something widely liked as worthless?
The other question is what does it mean widely liked and appreciated? I do believe it’s not about the value or liking something itself anymore. It seems like the measuring scale is quite artificial and skewed. For instance number of “likes” on Facebook definitely don’t reflect the measure of “liking”. Let’s be honest here. Sometimes we click the Like button because someone ask you to do so, or because we thought liking certain things would just look good. Or we just CLICKED. As simple as that. The only thing I´m sure of here is that if you like Justin Bieber (no offence Justin) that doesn´t make you an ignorant and – analogically – pretending or unfeigned appreciation of things considered sophisticated art doesn´t make you an intelectuall.
This video is borrowed from youtube:
Just take a look around and you will see plenty of things (having some attributes we assign to art) pretending art. A lot of people make “art” nowadays, and a lot of it is just pretending which emerges from identifying with what we believe is art. What bothers me the most is the “art labeling”. Why can’t we just share our songs, books and photographs with whomever we want without this useless and arguable “sticker”? Why can’t we just talk about something we like and something that gives us good vibes? On the other hand there are so many amazing and inspiring people doing a really great job. But the difference is those people don’t need to play around with words like “art”. They are humble and modest even though they are very skilled and they would never call themselves artists.
Let´s assume that speaking in general we associate the term “art” with visual/audio perception of something we see or hear as an output of activities (the language of art would call it performance) which are based on certain skills and crafts. Does that mean that a top-class surgeon whose hands give a precise performance on a daily basis is an artist in some way as well? How about an interpreneur who speaks a language which is not his/her mother tongue like native speakers? Are the sounds “produced” by that person some kind of art? Art defenders would say that an opera simply can´t be compared with the skill of speaking a foreign language. I can understand their arguments and the difference itself pretty well. But my point is who is the judge here? Who established the scale? In the end of the day nothing I have said doesn´t matter because everyone can call themselves anything they want. But at least it should be real and unpretentious.
Thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment and challenge me 🙂