I work with one of those creative types. Always fidgeting with something crafty. Suzy Home-maker putting flowers and bees on chairs and bookshelves. I keep running into that question: What is art? And it bounces around in my mind. There’s a part of me that thinks it’s wholly a matter of taste. Whatever makes you happy, Baby.
And there’s a part of me that rebels against the idea that the flowers she paints on her kids’ toy boxes are in the same category as the Sistine Chapel.
Seriously? Bees wearing sunglasses? Next, you’ll be telling me your grocery list is literature. You know. Just like Dante.
Here is my latest project, or at least, one that’s currently running. This is a deer skull. And for those of you who are wondering, it’s a humanely sourced deer skull.
For those of you who are wondering, now, that means she looked more or less exactly like this when I found her.
She’s been hanging out by my shed, trying to lose those last few pesky ounces of soft tissue.
In the end, I think I’ll probably wind up incising the skull, maybe doing something to make the designs pop, and then sell the product. In the meantime, we have photography. Personally, I think the photography comes closer to “art” than the arts and crafts end of it, but the arts and crafts will probably pay better.
Here is a picture of a windmill. I’m actually nearly as much in love with these windmills–and more specifically, the blades, which you can’t get a good look at in this picture–as I am with inter-modal shipping. The blades are so sleek, and elegant, and beautiful, it’s hard to believe they aren’t art.
Here is a villainous bug-man primed to take over the universe. I like him. I like him enough that I took a picture of him, as soon as I found him. But there’s no volition behind him. No purpose. He’s just an ink-blot in sugar glaze that fell on my trouser leg while I was working.
But if he isn’t art…
And I don’t see how he could be…
Can the photograph of him be art?
And then, here’s an old one… something that got labeled “Christmas Tree” when I used it in last year’s Advent Calendar, but which was actually painted in the summer, without a thought of Christmas in mind.
One of my paintings. Something that happens to be in my media library, anyway.
Something I like. It suits my tastes. I enjoyed painting it.
But I still look at it and wonder, how good does it have to be to be art?