Thursday, July 2, 2009

Art Is...

Leave it to a proprietary college like SVA to ask the big questions in their advertisements.

For much of the early 21st Century New York City subways were covered with their "Art Is..." campaign, a series of posters executed by their luminous faculty.

Paul Davis

I don't understand the mysticism imparted on the word "art".

Maybe I do. It's assumed that if something is "art" is not as "good" as something else that is "art" -that it's a qualitative judgment, not a quantitative definition.

Milton Glaser

Mystifying art gives critics something to talk about and colleges an excuse for failure.

Working in advertising, the most self-awarding of all industries, you often hear people relate commercials to art. Commercials are never art. They are (often) well conceived, beautifully executed, imaginative -all those things we ascribe to museum pieces. So what distinguishes them?

We can start with the mystic. Art illuminates the human condition/universe channeled through the voice of the creator. Even if its anonymous or collective (like film, symphony, etc.) art has a distinct voice.

Now lets move to the physical. Art is created with no practical purpose in mind.

A commercial is trying to sell you something. Propaganda is trying to convince you of an agenda.

James Victore

To me it's a simple definition, and an easy distinction.

Masks, ceremonial drums, tuxedo jackets -these may be beautiful and profound but they are altogether something different from art. We experience them differently, they have a different purpose. Great, possibly. Art, no.

1 comment:

Jill Conner said...

This is great - totally hits the nail on the head. Back to my Weimar reading...