Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Question

I've had something on my mind.  It might have started with my first awareness of Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" or Piero Manzoni's "Artist's Shit" and has continued to grow with my more recent awareness of bio art (Eduardo Kac amongst others).  It seems like such a simple question:


Piero Manzoni, Base of the World, 1961

I thought the above piece by Piero Manzoni was quite clever.  It is a pedestal, like the ones you see in art galleries used to display work.  However, it's upside down.  The large words in French translate to something like "pedestal for the world".  How I interpret this is that he put the world on a pedestal to say that the world is art.

The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary has this definition of art:
"Something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings."

Well, I guess that's an okay but it seems lacking.  I took a stab at writing a definition:
Art is a creative representational reflection of the world.  Art often explores what it means to be human.   It is a form of language, the attempted expression of an idea.  Art has power in its ability to bring us to attentiveness and re-engage with reality.

Does art have boundaries?  Can anything be considered art?  I struggle with this. 

How do you define art?

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  1. Don't get me started on my anti-modern art rant. My former boss used to love to take pics of it on his vacations, just to hear me go off about it. I guess art is subjective.

  2. I went through your blog and I love it! Love whom you have picked-I have seen a couple of works by Archimbaldo(man trying to remember how to spell his name so sorry if I got it wrong). My mom loved Marc and I love the Art Nouveau and one can see a lot of that influence in Prague. I can't even begin to try to define art because each person looks at art so differently. I am not a lover of modern art on the whole-seeing a block of wood with a string on it is not my idea of art. Some people love the basic $39.99 art sale that always has that mountain and stream in it. Elvis on velvet anyone?? I would stop at using feces as art which I saw at an art gallery-a pile of human poo-yup-to me not art. Bernini is art, Titian is art, Close is art but not that in my mind. Now I have to go back and look at how to spell that name again as I love his work (also Bosch who is another one on the strange side)

  3. oh and BTW-love your bead work!

  4. have asked an 'age old question' that many have contemplated and attempted to categorize. I'd say your definition covers most aspects and leaves room for a myriad of interpretations. Mine is simple....Art is in the eye of the beholder. Thoughtful 'Q' post and a beautiful beaded "Q".
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

  5. That's a toughie. I guess I'd define it as an indirect expression of an idea. But even as I write that I think about writing as art...and I guess it still applies because the story is the idea and the vast collection of words the indirect means (through sheer volume alone) of communicating it.

  6. Knuth said, "Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do." Joyce said, "A shout in the street." (he was talking about Irish Art, but that includes a lot of amazing illuminated manuscripts, so go figure...).
    Regardless, loving the beadings and the art history from Arcimboldo = "A" onwards. Looking forward to XYZ. Great going Liz.


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