Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A BIG question: Is This Art?

Is This Art? It's obviously a photograph, but does it qualify as art? What If I were to say that it was taken by Ansel Adams, would that make it art? Who decides what constitutes art and what doesn't? Is there some grand committee that sits around making up the rules of what is and what is not art? And if so, who appointed them? I know I didn't. Nor probably did you.

So why do some people have preconceived notions about what is acceptable in terms of art? For some, it isn't considered art unless it's hanging in a gallery or museum. For others, it isn't art unless it's one of the "fine arts" like painting or sculpting. So how did Ansel Adams' photographs become known as art? Who decided to let his photos into the "art category" and more importantly, why? I love Ansel Adams' work but want to know what it was about them that made the museum curators, gallery owners and art-snobs decide it was worthy of being called art.

In recent years there was a group of people protesting a Rockwell exhibit being held in a New York museum. To this particular group Rockwell was not an artist, but a lowly illustrator. But so was Maxfield Parrish and Alphonse Mucha yet they had no problem considering both of those men as artists. Why? where's the difference? To me all three are obviously artists. They create, they're artists. It's that simple. So why did an entire group of people get their knickers in a twist because Rockwell was being celebrated with a museum exhibition when the same group would've flocked to see Mucha or Parrish? I don't get it.

By the way, the photograph? It's not an Adams. It's one of mine taken on a trip to the Southwest and altered on the computer to be black and white. Knowing that, I ask you again: Is this art?

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As mama use to say, "If ya don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!"