Monday, March 29, 2010

the Artist's Touch

As a young adult preparing for the future stages of my life, I've done a lot of thinking about my career path. Is it a viable source of income, why do I make art, what purpose does it serve in the world/society, how can I make an impact with the talents that I have, or what exactly determines art between craft? Why is that important? Needless to say, attending Alfred University for a BFA has only skewed my perception moreso, and raised an endless list of questions about my choices as an artist. We see it all around us, expression. It is clear that there is much to be said about an object, sculpture, or image that one has invested many hours into to produce. However, how can we discriminate between work that is truely invested in something meaningful, from garbage that was literally found from the garbage?
At what point does nude portraiture just become naked people?
The other day during one of my critiques, there was a piece of a broken glass object set upon a pedestal. Everyone crowded around it as everyone looked at each other questioningly, and someone says, "Who's is this? Is this someone's project?" Turns out it was just a piece of garbage that didn't quite make it to the trash can. I think this says a lot about where our work has turned and the fact that people can't even discern garbage from "fine art." Or perhaps the quality of our craftmanship needs to seriously be addressed.

Now, I began my art career in very traditional modes of artmaking. My ideals of fine arts are rooted from realitic imagery, oil paintings, charcoal and etc. So perhaps I'm a bit biased about all of this conceptual contemporary work that we find emerging today. I am just fascinated by the fact that words can morph into new meanings and become something completely different throughout the times. Studying artists such as Robert Gober or Olifur Eliasson makes me question where the fine art realm is going to, where they turn art into something not typically associated to the word. Moving away from the actual objects and turning the expirience or the phenomenon of being in a space into the art form is an interesting concept, however, these ideas only further confuse my perceptions of being a fine artist. I feel that the term "art" is far too broad and we need to start expanding on our vocabulary.

1 comment:

  1. There is a very fine line between what is art and what is bullshit or trash. I think that if art is anywhere near this line it shouldn't be considered art. I, like you, have a biased opinion of this contemporary bullshit art. I think Duchamp's urinal is a joke, although it did push the boundary of the defining line of art. It is interesting you bring up the situation about a piece of trash on a pedestal, because I have also questioned a piece of trash and wondered whether or not it is art, and sometimes that makes me kind of depressed i invest my mind in something that had no effort put into it.