It appears as though my idea that art which is appreciated by more people is “more” art has created some discussion (Guy Tal and Skolai Images) . By “more” I do not mean “better”. “Better” is a supposedly objective determination made by a rule set derived by people who study art. What I mean by “more” is “greater impact”, and that is I feel, what gives art value. I believe that the creation of art is a cognitive process combining imagination and skill for the purpose of expressing some emotional response to a subject or just the maker’s state of mind. What makes art powerful is its communicative, or emotive impact on others.

If, as I believe, art requires a viewer in order to be complete, to count as more than just paint on canvas, words on paper, than something is “art” as soon as that first responsive viewer exists. But art is a subjective idea. The label of “art” is a judgment  made by people. What I perceive as random marks, may hold emotional meaning for someone else. I suggest that the power of something as “art” ( it’s “artfulness” )is a cumulative process so that the more people “see” it as art, respond to it, the “more” it is “art”. Being “art” to more people, I feel makes it “more” art.

I believe the Mona Lisa is more “art” today than if it were locked away in a closet after made. It will be more “art” a hundred years from now than today. Artists understand this, museums understand this, galleries understand this, investor’s understand this. It’s the reason they put their works out into the public through exhibits, books, catalogs, magazines, DVD’s, the internet and any other means they can find. The perception of something as “art” is a cumulative process, a work takes on the value of being “more” art, the more people respond to it as such.

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6 thoughts on ““More” Art…

  1. It’s an interesting concept to consider. I was going to reply here, but I fear my reply will be much too long winded, so a blog post will have to follow. There’s a lot of different angles and things to consider.

  2. I’ve had the “what is art” conversation with dozens of people over the past year or two & I’ve given it a lot of thought. I concluded that I’m better off doing it than worrying about defining it. You wouldn’t believe the mental circles & ran around & around & around in. Crazy!

  3. Great discussion you have going here Paul.
    I believe that their is a distinct difference between art and appreciation. I think I know what you are getting at, but still have difficulty imagining some particular piece being anything more or less than what it is at the time it was created and the process that went into it.

    As people have more time to appreciate something, certainly they may begin to find extra value in it, identify with different characteristics of the piece, or perhaps even have life experiences that would affect their views on it. There is where I find that the appreciation is capable of growing, but the art is still just what it is.

  4. I think of “art” as analogous to a conversation. A conversation requires at least a second person (unless you are like me and occassionally converse with only yourself). My feeling is that even though a conversation may be great between 2 people, it may even be the best kind of conversation, it is still “more” of a conversation if 10, 100 or 1000 people are involved. There is more communication. That is what I feel art is about. “More” in my usage, doesn’t refer to the quality, nor the fundamental definition of something, but it does change a quantitative attribute. Art that is seen by 1000 people compared to 2, especially if those people respond to it and not just acknowledge it, has achieved I feel, a level of “more-ness” (sorry), that I would think any artist would desire?

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