Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Good art / bad art - let's talk quality!

Shared on a private artist list, this article from the FT - Beyond the Froth and Jargon - got me thinking. (and nodding in agreement)

I've always wondered why so much art in the big galleries is unfathomable. Yet when I'm drawn to modern or contemporary work it can be new and different and daring but still be, dare I say it, visually interesting. (which can mean beautiful or shocking, either end of the spectrum) A painting can move me, without needing an explanation with it or the artist's contextual history.

So my question is... why can't we talk about quality? Putting aside the commercial argumentthat there is a market for pretty much anything (which I do agree with) does that mean we as individual art consumers have to accept everything on some greater authority's say-so?

On the level of an individual artist - why do we shy away from just being honest with artists, and ourselves? Why not just say sometimes - "that's a bad piece"?

With social norms insisting "everything is art" - how many of us really believe that privately? Do we just nod along because we're in public? Is there a new sort of political correctness that says creativity is always good? (in the professional realm: galleries, exhibiting artists, museums, art sales sites)

Do we help our fellow artists by not ever giving a qualitative judgement?

Are we helped as artists if we never get brutally honest feedback?

What if our work really is bad and spending time improving our skills would help far more than pat-on-the-back comments?

See the coast paintings
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