Sunday, June 15, 2008

To be. Or. Not...

Okay, so Paula Hewitt at The Beauty of Life wrote about her thoughts on the debate between "craft" and "art". Sharonb (see sidebar) also weighed in with her comment. So here is what I think.

People who call their work "art" often think they are different because they went to "Art School" or something and studied some sort of Art. Technically, for this to be so, their work should be peer reviewed - which mostly it is not. Their "Art" is not different to those of us who "craft".

"Craft" too, used to be what more skilled workers did, and belonged to guilds and had apprentices. Such as masons, carpenters and such. Nowadays these people are referred to as "blue collar workers" and frowned down upon by the "white collar workers". "Art" was usually limited to "painting", and included Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Renoir and Monet.

But now, anything goes, and craft and art are much the same thing. Often it is producing something to justify the huge expense of buying all those "artistic" goodies and stash. So unless you are going to differentiate with guilds and apprentices, you really are just another person with alot of expensive "artistic" goodies and a stash you have to reduce.

Unless you are peer reviewed, you artistic status is much the same as mine, and mine is that of a learner, or maybe "journeyman".

Galleries that wish to differentiate are also going to find themselves going out of business. So much is available on line and so much of it commented on by the "hoi poloi" that trying to have a gallery that is not commented on somewhere in the blogsphere is just not possible. People need to be able to interact with art, whether it is on gallery walls, on their own private walls or on the internet. If they cannot interact with art they are going to let you know about it in no uncertain terms.

It is not much different to the debate going on in the world of music these days. With so much music available on line, many music houses either have to adapt or fail. There are those who are trying to hold out for "the noble cause" but cannot understand why people are not flocking to them and their coffers are empty.

Art and music have become "common". They are not there just for the elite select few, they are there for everyone. The "hoi poloi" understand art just as well as the elite, select few. Just because they are not "megarich" and overeducated, does not mean they do not have an opinion, nor are they incapable of "truly appreciating" the subtleties of nuances within art or music.

Thus saith the hoi poloi ...

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