web analytics
Mar 212011
 

Today I want to rip apart and put to rest 7 awful myths and misconceptions about art!

Artist by Sergio Aragones

These Myths are totally wrong and mess up  the integrity and purpose of art.

1. Art means whatever people want it to mean.
No way Jose! A professional artist always has intention, and it’s his or her job to communicate that intent through mastering their craft and applying their skill in the form of hard work.

2. Art is all a matter of opinion and is subjective.
Hello! All of responses to art are opinions, so that’s nothing new. What the myth implies is that all opinions are equally valid.  That is FALSE! Some opinions are better than others. Opinions that are based on better reasoning are much stronger than opinions based on bad or zero reasoning!
Not all art is subjective. Some art is objectively good, and some art is objectively bad. The correct assessment depends on the evaluation of the criteria, not on the viewer’s whims or  tastes.

3. Art is meant to be totally confusing like a puzzle.
WROOOONG. Professional or sincere art is not there to confuse anybody. Insincere art is meant to confuse, shock, and irritate people.

4. Art is high brow. If  regular  folks get it, then it’s not art.
This myth is meant to let the viewer off the hook, because if it is true, why bother to even think about the art? All art is understandable, but some art requires more knowledge of the that art form in order to comprehend it.

5. The purpose of creative writing is for me to express myself.
Writing for personal self improvement is a private thing while writing for the public is an artistic thing —  The purpose of public writing is to communicate with others, not to  unload personal feelings.

6. Artists are random and abstract thinkers. They don’t think in order or sequence.
This is a big wuss-out from  people who want to appear artistic but aren’t necessarily interested in doing the real work. In addition to creating art, artists also organize, revise, and hammer out  their art to make it more understandable, An artist with strong revision skills means he has organizational skills,   understands structure, and a works hard.

7. Art only comes from inspiration and genius.
responding to inspiration is a reactive process. Most artists wait around for inspiration to strike. On the contrary, it is the artist’s job to create inspiration, to make it active.
Art comes from passion and dedication more than  from inspiration or talent.

Cartoon by Don Martin

The common theme in these myths is that art is supposed to be esoteric, abstract, and comes from some kind of wacky inspiration or genius rather than intelligent thought, planning, decision making, and hard work.  If it’s obtuse, beyond reason, or inexplicable, it must be good.  Another theme here is that there is no way to accurately judge the quality of art, that’s it’s all subjective.

All of these misconceptions are WRONG, stupid, and harmful because they ignore the fact that creating art is really hard work.  Instead they treat art as created by chance.  These myths try to excuse the audience (and the artist) from having to think about the work.

The truth is that the artist is always in control of the meaning behind their art. Professional artists don’t want their audiences to “take away whatever they want” from their work. Pro Artists are trying to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, and don’t want everyone to take away something different.

 

Cartoon by Al Jaffee

Be Sociable, Share!

[suffusion-the-author]

[suffusion-the-author display='description']

  9 Responses to “Man vs. Art Episode 46! 7 Myths About Artists that have to go!”

  1. agreed! I once had a debate with an art instructor about at least 4 of these. End result…I lost and struggled to pass the class there after. 😀
    nice post.

    • I disagree with your instructor. As you know I only disagree with people who are wrong. Glad to hear you stand up for what you believe in. That’s part of what Man vs. Art is all about!

  2. Wow! That was cool! I like that you said “Art is for Everyone”…I recently had a real-life experience with this topic…will elaborate a little more…Thanks!
    : )

  3. I LOVE this episode man! LOVE IT!

  4. Amen, brother!
    Such an appropriate episode. As one who has had the opportunity to teach in a variety of class settings, it’s those misconceptions about art and artists that just drive me crazy. I try really hard to break the barriers of these misconceptions while teaching the kids. I strive to make art accessible for students to enjoy and experience.
    Peace!

    • As instructors it is our duty to make sure youngsters are given a proper understanding about art. Or else we are creating monsters and idiots! Thanks man!

  5. […] “Today I want to rip apart and put to rest 7 awful myths and misconceptions about art!” Favorite quote: 5. The purpose of creative writing is for me to express myself. Writing for personal self improvement is a private thing while writing for the public is an artistic thing – The purpose of public writing is to communicate with others, not to unload personal feelings. […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.