Sunday, April 23, 2006

In which I ask angsty art questions...

What makes a photograph a work of art?
Is a good photograph art?
What is commercial as opposed to art?
What is naive art as opposed to fine art?
Is it the photographer who defines his work as art, or is it how the viewer perceives it?
Are all these terms mutually exclusive or do they straddle a continuum?
Who gives a hoot and does it matter?
Can I just say that I like it and think its art? Then anyone can just say they like it and think its art?
Is my idea of art better than yours?
Does understanding art work enhance the experience or does that mean the art work failed? Those abstract conceptual artists really threw a spanner into my limited brain.
Why can I enjoy some art without understanding it, but appreciate some art work without enjoying it at all?
Why do I prefer visual art to literary?
Is the music of the Beatles simply pop music or pop art or art?
How does a martial art become an art? I mean using a sword to kill someone has the same effect as taking an axe and killing someone right? Wait, wait, is there an axe-welding martial art??

I got no answers for you. But if you want to shoot art, you have to start asking yourself what it is? I am not telling you.


John Vesia said...

The martial arts (like any art), is aesthetic, well crafted, and provides a metaphor for life. By the way, if you encounter an axe-wielder, the art of running always away comes in handy.

pfong said...

Some interesting questions here Heng. I guess I make photographs, and if someone, somewhere considers the work as art then that would be very cool. But even if the photo "fails" as art, maybe it still has value as a historical record. A slice of time captured for the future.

Heng said...

Hi Paul,

You are absolutely right. I think that any definition of art is fraught with minefields. And there are many photographs that have historical value irrespective of its artistic merit. Everyone finds their own reason to take a photograph. People who are only willing to take a photograph if it is art are full of bullshit. :)

I don't consider my travel photos art either. They are more or less snapshots, records of my journey in life.

Here is to more and more photos for your own heart's desire.

pfong said...

Those travel shots of your? Definately art in my book.

I've been thinking that whatever I do has to have a balance between what I like and what other people like. If the piece only pleases me and no-one else, it's probably not art ;-)

In a sense, art serves its audience if you know what I mean.

I do think that the work that I consider as art always involves an element of sacrifice. It's something the artist has spent time, energy or effort on at the expense of something else.

cheers :-)