The problem with the word “Art” is that it’s useless. And the inevitable “but is it Art?” question that people love to bicker about is just as useless. Here’s a clipping from last week’s local paper:
I’m sure this woman is a very nice lady, and we don’t know if she’s actually calling her lint collection “art” or whether it’s the person who wrote the article. But in the public perception, anything that anyone wants to call “art” pretty much can be.
So how useful is a term that has to be broad enough to encompass a lint collection (or an unmade bed, or a blank canvas, or a urinal, or a can of excrement), and this (White Roses by Graydon Parrish)?
If the idea of “art” has to cover everything between those extremes, then fine, everything is art, but that’s kind of like saying everything is made of molecules. How useful is it? If you ask me if something is art, I’ll say “it is if you want it to be.” Whether it’s good or important art is a much more interesting question to me, and the farther away from skilled the work is, the less likely I am to be charitable in my answers.