Tuesday, 17 January 2012

What makes an object Art?

Is this Art? Pompidou Centre, Paris

So what is art? I've been writing an essay on the subject for Visual Culture and it's been really interesting. So many theories have been introduced on the subject, it's hard to know which to believe.
Personally I think art is such a difficult thing to define. I think there are several things which make something likely to be art, from being called art by the 'Artworld', being made by an Artist, having meaning or depth of some kind or even just being aesthetically pleasing.
In the end, the more of these characteristics a piece has, the more likely it is to be art, but there are many pieces which do not tick all the boxes and we should not expect them to.

I want to be surprised by art. The Artworld only works without rules and restrictions. We as the artworld are responsible, in my opinion, of making sure rules are not placed. Only then can art grow and change and stay relevant.

I have enjoyed reading the theories of Philosophers such as Danto and Dickie on the subject of What makes something art, rather than an artefact and I am sure I will continue now to read these theories and enjoy them, much in the way I enjoy reading articles by modern critics. I read them, but never take them too seriously, because in the end I have my own cultural ideas around art and they will be different to those of others, I wouldn't want them to be the same, because then our art would not be as varied and unique to us personally.


  1. Hey Laura,
    I totally agree with you on the fact that art is so difficult to define. I'm not studying art as a subject but the different theories you are looking at sound really interesting and very thought-provoking. I also agree that art cannot have rules and restrictions and this is what makes it interesting and exciting!

    Really like the blog and shall be reading your updates :)

    Joanna x

  2. Happy New Year Laura,

    The person(s) who created

    the objects hanging in your photograph

    are probably charlatans, but since I cannot

    judge the work at close range

    my opinion isn't really valid.

    Is a David Hockney drawing on an iphone

    or ipad art?

    Is it art, if the drawing is transferred to canvas

    and printed with 6 inkjet printers?

    I was at a Frieze exhibition a few years ago

    and one of the pieces was a skip filled with

    jelly beans or popcorn or whatever.

    Anyhow, I thought it was total bollocks.

    It's the sort of crap that a bank would buy

    and stick in one of their HQ foyers.

    The trouble is that now, there is so much

    bad art out there, it outnumbers good art

    by something like 70 to 30.

    It's the same with films, most of them are

    utter drivel but they get made.

    Perhaps, I'll drop by tomorrow with a better

    reply. It's almost 3 am. I need to sleep.