Among all the definitions of undefinable things, it’s the definition of art that is the most ambiguous.
From Romanticism to classicism, from Pop Art to Abstract Expressionism, art encompasses everything. Even a line or a dot can be considered as an artwork — if the artist makes it so.
But if art is everything and anything, it’s essentially nothing. If that was to be true, then we wouldn’t have been talking about it in the first place. Thus, there has to be something which is not art.
But how do we differentiate?
To me, art is an expression — like a kiss between two lovers, or the violent sobs of a bereaved mother. It’s the flower plucked from the garden of your soul, laid bare for the world to smell.
Often, people associate art with beauty and complexity. But art can also be ugly and express nothingness. After all, these too are a part of our existence. Of course, most art critics will disagree. They always do.
To be quite honest, I never understood why people spend so much time and intellectual energy to analyse and criticize art.
All art narrates a story about some aspect of our existence. But the existence of each individual is unique — it’s subjective. And hence art is subjective — it’s not the same for everyone.
Thus, judgement of every art critic would invariably be his(or her) personal opinion.
It’s quite entertaining how artists look up to them for their stamp of approval, which they never get.
Andy Warhol was an artist who never managed to acquire the approval of the critics. He never sought their judgement. He was a genius.
One of his most influential quotes was that “Artists make things that people don’t need”. This essentially makes all artists plastic junk.
But plastic doesn’t decompose and Gods never die.
Artists are a bit of both.