There Is No Good Art. Or Bad
I, like many other artists, would like to think I’m a good artist. I’d like to think that someday, my artwork will be considered precious collectibles for those lucky enough to collect some when the prices, way back when (today), weren’t stratospheric. And even though I do like being honest with myself, I still like to fantasize, so let me. Don't be a killjoy.
By the same token, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no good art. There’s also no bad art. There is just…. art. That’s not the same as saying there is no successful or unsuccessful artist. At least monetarily. Ask any starving artist… they’ll tell you… there’s definitely a difference. Successful art, at least in a monetary sense, is the stuff that becomes precious collectibles. But art, in itself, is neither good nor bad. It’s just a representation of something from within. Now… maybe if you want to be nitpicky, you could say that bad art is when an artist represents something from within, and it got WAY lost in translation. But really… only the artist knows that. And if they haven’t destroyed this bad art already, then they’re probably going to rationalize that it really DOES represent whatever it was they wanted to represent ("My painting, 'Girl Getting Of Horse In Field' looks like a potato because it was an introspective look at her relationship with her mother during her dark years").
But really, there is no good or bad art. Just art itself. And each piece of art connects somewhere inside with potential viewers. Some art connects with the artist him or herself, and very few others. And some connect not only with the artist, but with a huge amount of the viewing public. It is the art that connects with huge numbers that is usually considered “good” art. But I contend that it’s neither good, nor bad. It just happens to connect to more.
Art is not made to connect with as many as possible. It is made to represent something the artist sees or feels, either from within, or in life itself. How many it connects with is something totally different. It’s nice when it does connect with many, but maybe all that means is that the artist, emotionally, was more aligned with others than maybe a different artist might have been.
There are tons of critically acclaimed artists that die broke. Being a monetarily successful artist, doesn’t mean they were better or worse. Just more aligned. And any artist who is true to him or herself, won’t change what they do just to sell more art.
Okay…who am I kidding…of course they will. Maybe. Sometimes. For some. Those who create art for a living... do have to make a living after all. It's fun not to starve. And support your family. But you get the picture.
David S. Chorney
This is where I'm supposed to write something about myself. I still have some hair left. I am still undecided which I like better, photography or painting. My four major food group are seafood, melted cheese, pasta, and Advil. I love the hunt of a finished piece of art. All quotes, essays, stories, and any other written piece on this website, are original and written by yours truly, unless otherwise noted.