“That’s not art. I collect art so I should know.”

This is not art because this man's grandson can paint like this. His grandson is talented. I am not.

Another gem of a statement offered to me while I was gallery sitting yesterday. Guess what? Only paintings that look like photos are really art.

Thus, I am very confused as to what art is if it is not art.

By this gentleman’s logic, a librarian can legitimately judge whether a book is “good enough” to even be a book. If it is not a book, then what is it?

If a movie is so bad as to not be a movie, then what is it?

If a theatre performance is not a theatre performance because I don’t like it – then what does it remain? Or does it become something else?

If I don’t think this gentleman’s opinion is worth very much, can I still consider him an art critic or just a buffoon?

What I do know, after 20 years, is to shut up and smile and nod when dealing with this kind of person. And never vote for them like much of our country did in the last election.


  1. Valour · December 18, 2011

    It takes a lot of talent for a grown adult to paint like this mans grandson, and I love this work of art.

  2. Cynthia · December 19, 2011

    Though I agree with you, and I think art is in the eye of the beholder (art is art if somebody/anybody says so), I see something valid missing in your arguments. A “bad” book may not be considered “literature”, but it’s still a book. A piece of art can be seen as a “bad drawing” and a piece of remarkable theater performance as an child’s play, a movie as a B-movie.

    If it’s not art, what is it? It’s art to you, it may be a painting to somebody else.

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