We’ve gotten a ton of readership and responses to our last post. Who would have thought that stating the obvious, that good art is good art regardless of style, could have stirred up such feelings? We shouldn’t have been surprised though since we’ve talked to hundreds of representational artists over the past few years who feel under appreciated and marginalized because their preferred way of working isn’t considered cool by the reigning art powers (curators, critics and theoreticians). We’ve also talked to hundreds of non-objective artists who claim that the larger public still doesn’t understand or support their type of work.
Make no mistake, those who make a living trying to fashion public sentiment about the latest art movement aren’t necessarily wrong or venal. But they are personally invested in the outcome and their opinions should be considered in that light. And just as obviously, the public at large will always be more receptive to representational art because it is initially more accessible.
In the end, art is personal and what appeals to one viewer does not appeal to another. It will always be this way and we are damn glad of it. This is not to say that all art is equal. There are obvious (to the thoughtful viewer) degrees of skill and creativity evidenced in some masterful works that are absent in others. There is great conceptual art and there is conceptual art that is total crap. Likewise there are some wonderful representational painters and some who should take up another occupation.
We all have personal preferences that influence why we are drawn to one style of work over another, but it would be a great thing if we disregarded all the labels and simply experienced each work on its own merits. This is a richer way to enjoy the pleasures of art and frankly it is the only intellectually honest way of evaluating the “worth” of a particular piece of art no matter the style. Dare we say it – if you do otherwise you are just following what is fashionable or being a lazy viewer rather than thinking for yourself. Uh-oh we’ve really stepped in it now.