There are a lot of debates about what is art? Is it a beautiful painting? A grand opera or perhaps a chamber orchestra playing something by Mozart …
Well, I assume Mozart wrote music for chamber orchestras. I don’t know for sure and don’t really have time to go look it up. I did take both piano and violin lessons as a child, but don’t recall exactly what Mozart wrote. The movie they did about him was nice, but a bit tragic at the end.
Years/decades ago , I took a college class called, “Humanities 1A” which really should have been called, “Art Appreciation 101.” It was one of those freshman survey classes and I needed the three units for my GE art class requirement so I signed up. It was easy. They did some lectures and for assignments we had to see a play, go to an art gallery, watch a modern dance concert, and write little reports on it. It was kind of fun and I got an A in the class – well, I think everyone got an A. In fact, it was kind of hard to fail the class.
One of the first questions we were asked was, “What is art?”
The class was broken up into small groups to discuss and present our answer to the class. My group discussed it for a while and noted that even ugly things could be art. We came to this view after describing a new sculpture that was put in the student union that week. It wasn’t good looking and we all hated it, but it was clearly creative, and likely, “art”
So we decided that art was, “That which creates an emotional response in the viewer.”
That’s been my position ever since.
Thank you for reading my blog.
What? Oh, are you going to be like my English teacher and write, “More” or “Expand” at the bottom of this blog post? Many of my college English teachers would do that. I’d turn in these nice, tight, short essays or research papers and my professors seemed to think I could say more about the subject. I guess my creative writing professor was wrong when he said, “Less is more.”
Well, maybe, but not if you’re a professor of literary criticism. Oh my gosh, those people want you to write a five thousand word analysis of a twenty word poem …
Okay, I’ve done that, and I’ll submit that the resulting critical paper was brilliant and possibly art (by my definition) because if you read the whole thing you’d be left in a state of total confusion which could be argued as an, “emotional response.”
So many people in our world say that they aren’t artists and don’t create art, but if you think about it, there are a lot of artists in this world. Most just don’t claim the title of artist, even though what they do creates a variety of emotional responses. For example, delivery drivers are artists.
Seriously, your average UPS, FedEx, Prime, or USPS driver is really a performance artist. Think about it. In fact, I have an example from today. UPS delivered a package to my front door and the resulting performance created an emotional response in me – a work of art.
For the love of all that is holy, please explain to my why, why, doesn’t the UPS driver ring the door bell so I’ll come, open then door and get the package instead of leaving it on the front porch to be stolen by the local porch pirates? I mean, the package was directly under the door bell – two seconds effort. But no! oh no! Just leave it and run. What? Are they afraid I might actually open the door while they’re retreating to their big brown box on wheels? Dude! Please, just ring the damn bell!!!
There, I’ve just proven the UPS driver is a performance artist – by that simple act of not ringing my door bell the driver successfully created an emotional response in me.
You’ve got to admire their skill at it.
Art at its finest.