Defining Art

From what I can tell, throughout history mankind has struggled with how to describe and categorize art. I mean there is no mystery as to whether or not to consider the Sistine Chapel art but what about a carefully organized bucket of trash? How is art to be interpreted? Can or must something be considered

art solely because it’s creator intended it to be? Should we add a clear line in the sand between art and fine art? What makes one thing “art” and another “an art”? These are the questions I’m going to try to tackle as concisely as possible before I go hit a show and then get loaded tonight. Because I’m a bartender and Monday is my Friday. It’s a sweet deal because all the amateurs aren’t out, they gotta work in the morning.

The biggest problem I’ve encountered in my chats with random folks from all walks is what gets included in what we consider “art”? Why does some pompous tool with a scarf get to paint a green number 4 sideways on an eight foot canvas and that’s art, but some of these comic book artists who are perfectly representing human musculature and pissing all over the limits of perspective get scoffed at and shunned from the museums?

I think I’ve figured out how to settle what’s what with a very simple and concise statement.

Art: Anything created with the intent of being art. 

   Anytime someone is trying to create art that’s what it is but sometimes a desk is just a desk you hippies…

But while I feel that covers what we can consider “art” I think we need to further still add a distinction between what is any little toddlers finger smudges and the things that have been created that have left us stuttering awestruck at it’s magnificence. So fascinated with it’s author to rip this creation from the inner workings of the universe that we allow them their absurd eccentricities that we would otherwise diagnose as utter insanity.

Fine Art: Something that when viewed by strangers can be appreciated without explanation and can’t easily be replicated with few exceptions.

  Let me brake down the statement piece by piece. Don’t worry I’ll do it quickly because I’m getting thirsty.

“Something that when viewed” means it has to be able to be seen. Making a baby isn’t “art” (unless you’re religious, then I guess it would be God’s art) but it can be classified as “an art”. Comedy, while an art form is not “art”, it’s “an art”.

Art: Is the product, the object. 

  This doesn’t mean it necessarily needs to be tangible or be able to be held. Computer art still fits within the original definition.

An art: Is the act, the process

  Any process can be art if while in the act you are passionate and take pride in what your doing. So sex can be art or you can just be some horny asshole that shouldn’t have pounded all those margarita’s before you hopped in the next with that lagoon creature you woke up next to.

“Viewed by strangers” covers parents liking their kids smiley face stick figures, while I’m sure it’s cute and it’s most assuredly art, maybe even the first steps of a future Michelangelo, it’s not fine art unless strangers who aren’t clouded by their previous attachments and emotions like it too (sorry Timmy).

This also include whomever you’re shacking or wish you were shacking up with. Of course after you allow someone to thrust themselves inside you they’re going to all of a sudden “get it” and think you’re brilliant. Also if you appreciate the “fine art” of someone you wish to plow your opinion is now null and void on that artist no matter how many degrees you have. I think this last part is why when I go to an art gallery (very rare) I gotta stare at all those “green fours” I was talking about.

“Appreciated without explanation” People should be able to like the piece of art in question without being told why they like it. An explanation of a particular piece should enhance the already growing feeling of appreciation for the piece in question.

Don’t get me wrong, when one of those “green fours” or four crumpled pieces of loose leaf in a trash can are sold for the big bucks there is no fine art, but there is definitely “an art” happening. The silver tongued grifter convincing you of that shit stained canvases historical significance is an artist for certain. Hustling is one of the worlds oldest arts. And convincing an entire art community that some splatters on canvas that any rubberheaded retard could do in a homeless shelter is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is a fine hustle indeed.

“Can’t easily be replicated with few exceptions” This is really simple and frankly and anticlimactic finish to what I hope were some pretty interesting ideas. If anyone can do what your doing it’s not “fine

art”. If any average Sally or Joe can duplicate your work it is by definition, average. The exceptions are obviously art forgers which ride in what I can see as the only elusive gray area between it being “art” or

“an art”. But hell, nobody’s perfect. If I was that clever someone would be paying me to think of this shit.

Well if you made it to the end thanks for reading. All feedback is appreciated, any holes you can kick in the theory will only make it stronger. I want to write more but I feel some “Irish True, Tullemore Dew” calling my name.

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