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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Continuing saga of worthwhile art ...

Artist: Sophia Elise
Media: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 25cm x 25cm
For Sale: contact

Following on from my post yesterday about "what is worthwhile art?" - I started this same conversation on my facebook wall (by the way if you haven't connected with me on facebook already please do! :-))

I really wanted to share some of the thoughts that came through - some from artists - some from art admirers - some very interesting thoughts and some wise words ...

Pamela - "I don't think anyone has the right to sit on a pedestal and judge other peoples artwork. Because we may not like or value or have some kind of prejudice over a particular style or person does not mean the piece of work itself is not worthwhile. I think there are too many people out there who value their own opinions. I think we seek way to much validation for our art externally instead of believing in our own talent and skill and its easy to lose sight of ones path, and get caught up in what you think you should be doing rather than what you want to do."

Bernice - "Opinion is the worst yardstick one can react to in a creative endeavour. Along those lines ..... Does not having a fine arts degree make one less of an artist or an artist of note? This has been a... continuous struggle I have faced in my art career. Could I get an art degree... Yes. Do I want to... No. Am I an artist.... Yes. Do I create worthwhile art.... Yes. For many years now I have refused to placate certain factions of the 'art community' who have repeatedly recommended I do the degree in order to prove my artistic worth. It makes it harder to be taken seriously, for sure (in my experience), but i will keep on doing what I do, regardless of whether other's view my work as worthwhile or not. I have a voice. You have a voice. Every single creative person has a voice. It won't be silenced by anything as linear as an opinion."

Denita - "passion, talent, and love makes worthwhile art and art worthwhile"

Ross - "I'm always asked this by my school students. We live in an age of Post Modernist who's-to-say mentality. They are always trying to pin it down to $ signs. Like "what's the most you've sold a work for sir?". That's because they have been taught that this is a way to value stuff (we are now doing that more and more in dear old NZ. I reckon there are a whole host of questions like - Is there an honest voice there? Is there some good mark making going on? (I mean that in a 3d and 2d sense) Is the person demonstrating some sort of control of their media? In contrast to these and there are heaps more, that we could go on about, we have unmade beds, beer crates, piles of rubbish, all winning prizes. So the ideas (and some of them are quite clever, whilst others are plain grandstanding like Damien Hurst's over hyped, over priced nonsense. I reckon the best guy to read on the subject is Robert Hughes. "Shock of the New" is a goody but it's a bit old. I would love to know what sort of spirit Bazaleel and Aholiab had in the Old Testament"

John - "Many things in this world are subjective. Movies, books, music, art, likes, dislikes etc. It is a combination of ignorance and arrogance for one person (often from their own perception of academic superiority) to suggest one thing is worthwhile and suggest that your particular taste is not. All these subjective likes and dislikes come from the heart, they can't be and shouldn't be found in books, internet or otherwise."

Brian - "Good art in my opinion elicits an emotional response in the viewer"

Colin - "If the artist likes it, its worthwhile to them, if the viewer likes it, then its worthwhile to that person and if your lucky both artist and viewer like it therefore making it worthwhile to both. In some cases the artist will not be happy with the finished article and few viewers like it making it worthwhile to few. A piece of arts worth both monetary and visually is a very individual thing....Some people see arts worth in relation to monetary value (So IS a factor to them), others see art purely for the aesthetic value i.e. like the look of it, or sound of it, feel of it (Myself) and others for some perceived meaning behind it all. No one motivation or trigger for an individuals impression of a given piece or form of art is any more valid than another. With art there are no more rules to the appreciation of art than there are to the creation of it or form it should take."

Stan - "who is this person to cast a judgement on the marks of a fellow artist? Certainly no one with any academic background in the profession. From the first crude paleolithic markings on the walls of caves until the present, art is a reflection of human labour and a catharsis of the imagination. To attempt to discredit one artists work as not worthwhile is to deny individualistic creative processes."

Ross - "Again though, we're coming back to the very thing that prompts this debate. There is an opinion that if something provokes emotion then if it good. I don't think it's that simple. Like a Swastika for many people would provoke and emotion, but it is not art it is an offensive icon. So there has to be some sort of conceptual underpinning. Oh for the days when we were told what was good and what was rubbish! (that's tongue in cheek). It's not just technical ability either is it? Think about the beautifully produced kitch sold all over the world."

Leo - "it took me the standard 4 years plus a post graduate year, but that did NOT make my work art, nor did it make me an artist. That came later. What it did - and that made it worthwhile after all - was break down all my pre-conceived ideas, thanks to excellent tutors, and give me a lot of useful technical knowledge. But that was all it did. There are countless great artists who never had any formal training. And Sophia, thanks for starting this discussion!"

I think my favourite quote from all the posts though is Colins - "With art there are no more rules to the appreciation of art, than there are to the creation of it or to the form it should take."

Thanks to everyone for joining in this discussion - sharing your thoughts and feeling - opinions and insights - to follow this more go to my facebook page

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