Last weekend, I was able to meet up with some of my friends who I haven’t seen since last year. We had a very insightful conversation that I would like to share with you.
My friend, Kylie asked me what art is. I told her I believed that art was anything that someone creates.
My friend Kylie then challenged me to think about art a little deeper. She claimed, “Art isn’t only something that you create; it’s about what you truly believe art is. If you make something, and you believe it is art, then it is. But if you don’t believe it is art, then it isn’t.”
She gave me an example. She flipped over the sign at the table we were sitting at. She asked me if I believed that it was art.
I told her no, I would not consider that art.
She said she would not either.
“Most people wouldn’t. But there’s always going to be one person out there that believes it is art.” And in their eyes, it would be art. Maybe no one else sees it that way. But to that one person, it is a masterpiece.
I think this is a super interesting concept. It was an interesting topic to discuss with her and my friend Emily. It made me think about my own art in a different way. Of course, I believe what I do is art. But some people may not. I think this is what makes art so amazing. It is subjective and can be interpreted differently by everyone.
I also think there is a lesson to be learned here. You need to believe in yourself and your art. If you create something, and you don’t believe that it is truly art, then [there is a chance that] no one else will believe it either. You need to believe in your art so that everyone else can more readily see it in the same light you do. Be confident in the work you create!
So continuing creating art, and believe in yourself!
The difference between Subjective and Objective views of art (as well as beauty) is one of the most enduring and widely debated topics in Western philosophy. To truly understand theses terms as they relate to art, one must first have a general grasp of what each term means outside the art world. Here’s a simple 4 minute explanation of the differences. In terms of art and beauty, check out this 6 minute overview on Subjective Beauty vs. Objective Beauty. If you’d like to do more reading on the topic, head on over to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.