Is good art subjective? Or is it based on the connoisseur hype?
by AKO • Aug 08, 2019 | Art

Art, a silent medium to express one’s thoughts, emotions, ideas, and a unique perspective of life, is a genuine desire to discover and admire the intrinsic aspect of a personal point of view. It doesn’t have to be appealing but must be deep and meaningful, or so you thought. This short paragraph should raise questions. Is there ever lousy art? Who determines good art? If art is subjective, are you sure you like the well-known artists you admire or are you just a bandwagon passenger? How does one differentiate? Yes, questions.

We subjectively experience life; our expressions, emotions, light, and objects are all little stories in the humongous vastness and epochs of Universe. Humans experience intense emotional upheavals, and art can instill some of it in us. It is volatile in terms of perceiving, and the more curious the viewer of art is the more realms of imagination art open for him. Art makes us look at things from a different angle. It reconstructs the conceptions of reality to make life an intuitive experience for us. Consider art to be just blobs of dried paint or random lines fantasizing the artist views. It has always been a conflict between the mind and heart when grasping the concept of art. The connoisseur depicts smorgasbord of ideas and innovation through his art, making it sagacious and subjective. 

Is art really subjective?
The matter of subjectivity of art when dissected, make us realize that it is all about individuality, and everyone has a different thought process and a unique way of comprehending things. For instance, let there be a crowd observing an effortless painting drawn by an unknown artist. The men in the group will view and perceive the picture differently than women. The young will have a different set of thought going through their mind at the time of observing the art than the old. Aged people have sapience, have faced a lot of hardships, and have survived the ups and downs of the rollercoaster of life. Hence, the “wisdom” increasing age unfolds is colossal. The old will reflect upon the painting through the views they grew up on, dreams they achieved and desires they could not fulfill. So, what can we squeeze out of this example? It’s the personal point of view, life experience, and the minimal knowledge of intricacies of art that creates diverse opinions among the crowd. 

At the most initial, the artist creates something and leaves the observer the ability to judge, criticize, and analyze. At the current point of an artist’s career, with no notability, little achievements, and endless hurdles to face, what makes them worthy enough to be regarded for their art? What can segregate them from the rest of the lot?
We might like to argue that art itself does most of the job- it inspires people and makes them fell in love with the art and with little or no effort given to the name or the reputation of the artist, and a connoisseurs hype might with a slight chance influence the biased behavior in the future of the career of an artist. But even if the artist has garnered a lot of hype and built up a reputation for themselves, It is still up to the lens of the observer. Surrealism, when introduced to dull minds, was considered as trash and a great disaster but was gradually accepted as the artist’s wild imagination and a playing field for the observer to admire and interpret art based on their own thinking.
The valuation of art is a nebulous process, and it sometimes makes you wonder when it became imperative to “price art.” Should art even be priced? For this growing complexity in the art world, the establishment of art museums, art galleries, art evaluation centers, and critics engaging with each other on defining the real good art played and continues to play a crucial part. Often, the work of an artist might not be as impressive as the artist announces or claims, and since art itself -however good or bad – is the subject of the observer, an invigoration of interest built prior to viewing the art might be as a result of superfluous claims.

Its sincerely true that good art is subjective, but it is also not wrong to think that the connoisseur’s hype matters. The observers choice reigns supreme at the end of the day. Do you think the art you saw was good because you felt connected to its charm? Or was your opinion on the art being exemplary based on your unconscious subscription to the hype bandwagon?

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