The definitions of art are not a simple as black or white or a definition in a book.
In e-mail interviews with several artists about their views on what they considered to be art and their opinions on what good and bad art is, there was a surprising variety of answers.
Shayia Hayenger, 19, of New Hampshire defined art as “any physical manifestation of an idea concept, or physical object. This effect can be achieved though a canvas, clay, or any other medium.”
Seventeen-year-old Sylvia Baker of Michigan gave another idea of what art is by stating “my definition of art tends to be anything that was made with the purpose of being pleasing to the person who made it.”
Art seems to be popular because by viewing and creating it there is an emotional response to it. When creating art an artist experiences a release and for a time are set free. Creating a piece of art can be “relaxing and exciting at the same time,” as Christine Landrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba, stated, “To me personally [it’s] a great stress reliever.”
Inspirations for the artwork that these artists do vary wildly. Sometimes it is art that someone else does, such as in comic books. Other times, it can be a person’s lifestyle.
“Well my music and my Gothy lifestyle are definitely a big influence,” Christine said.
Still at other moments, it can be the emotional state of the artists themselves.
One of the main negative points the individuals interviewed said is the viewer and the critics.
“The ones who try to find the meaning in all art,” Sylvia Baker stated. “Not all art has meaning. Sometimes . . . it’s just art.”
Like inspiration, there is quite often a variety of theses or settings for the art of each individual. The artwork of Sylvia Baker has mainly a fantasy theme to it and Christine Landrie stated that her artwork “has a dark cartoony undertone but not any one theme.”
These artists, almost unanimously believe that art should be taught in schools because it would increase their artistic abilities.
Many believe that art does help society communicate. Many times in an unspoken form such as stop or yield signs; signs that are universal throughout most of the world. Still, art can also be used to compliment verbal communication, even enhance it, such as with television advertisements.
There was also the bringing forth of movies and shows as visual representations of books. The movie, no matter how good it was, would still be limited by what the director deemed as art.
And in such ways, these can be a very constructive contribution to society, such as a mural or publicly displayed painting.
In regards to being asked about destructive forms of art Christine Landrie stated that “There are some things like graffiti can be seen as either a beautiful mural or destruction of property depending on the person. I know I have personally seen some really well done graffiti that was painted over the next day.”
Many artists came to an unspoken consensus on what they deemed to be good and bad art. The main thing that separates the good from the bad would be perception, how each person perceives what has been done.
“Art is a lot like beauty,” Sylvia Baker said, “it is in the eye of the beholder.”
The same was true when each were asked about how they thought the bridge between good and bad art could created.
Tim W. of Saarland Germany stated, “the gap is the difference of each viewer’s interpretation and therefore out of reach of the artist.”
There were mixed reactions on the idea of teaching the connotations between good and bad art in schools. Some believe that if someone was able enough to learn art, they should already know the connotations between good and bad art. Others believe that it should be taught, because it would depend on what the person has defined or defines as art.
The artist interviews also seemed to unintentionally group certain characteristics to both good and bad art. What made something good would be anything that includes a good feel that the viewer feels toward the art. Actually catching the viewer’s attention, and being visually pleasing.
Christine Landrie summed up the idea of good art by stating, “the way a really good conversation piece can bring a stuffy room to a friendly conversation about its good or bad points, depending on the piece.”
What made a piece of bad art was that people might not be in the mindset to appreciate it, or they would consider it ugly, or something that did not seem original; boring.
Many did not want to classify to which category they would want to place their artwork but those who did had said that they would place their artwork as “good” because it came form what they were feeling and it was what they were intending to do. Sometimes they might consider art as bad because it did not reach what they had intended for the work.