30 October, 2012

Respectable Art

Reader's Digest Singapore edition, May 2011
The Difference Between Art and Rubbish, by Nury Vittachi (page 36)

With some people passing off trash (literally) as art, I was wondering how to define art that is worthy of respect, yet not limit people's freedom or be biased to my preferences. I think there are 2 conditions:
  1. They must be good at what they do, compared to other people. It doesn't matter if I like it or not, if they can do something most people can't, that's special. Conversely, if their "art" can be done by anybody, it's not worth paying attention to. Some people are famous for painting with different materials, e.g. food condiments. But how do their painting skills compare to other artists? Are they famous just because they use a different medium? A picture taken with Instagram may look nice, but that doesn't make one a photographer. Anyone can do that.
  2. It must be repeatable. This shows they are in control and actually mean to do what they do. If you produce one drawing that doesn't look like a person, you're a lousy artist. If all your drawings look like that, it becomes your style and you're known as Picasso. I might break a plate into a world map. That makes me lucky, not an artist.

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