I’m sure we’ve all heard this spiel. When attending exhibitions or being presented with an artwork at school the general mumbling of ‘my kid could do that,’ or ‘I could do that.’
The negativity of those statements has always bugged me. Why should a seemingly simple piece be dismissed as ‘art’ merely because we feel it could be easily achieved? Shouldn’t the accessibility of art be a good thing? I always wanted to say to those people, you could? Well, go on then get painting.*
Why is it that we feel art must be this bigger than us mysterious thing? Why does something simple madden us? I don’t really know the answers (sorry) but I do think it’s very interesting.
You could bring the same thought into other mediums as well: pop music vs indie/alternate, genre novel vs literary. Why should something created to be accessible or ‘for the people’ be looked down on?
Or does the mere response to a ‘simple’ piece negate its accessibility at all? Making the viewer feel superior to the artist instead of, maybe, empowering them to make their own art. Is it perhaps because we feel there’s nothing to look up to or to strive for? Instead of feeling like there could be a way in to this mysterious art making business.
In the piece pictured above by Hans Hofmann we (well, I anyway) know little about its making. We don’t know the struggle of the artist. And we could, in fact, dismiss the struggle entirely. It looks too easy, that song was too simple, that book was too fluffy. I think it would be a mistake to dismiss the struggle in these mediums. Because the maker probably did bleed to make it.
Anyway, that’s my spiel for the evening. Let me know your thoughts :)
*I wouldn’t say that because loud talking in such situations is frowned upon. Also is playing a game where you see how close you can get to the painting without touching it.