art · student

What is art? 

As you may know, recently I have been researching Marina Abramovic, a well known and highly controversial performance artist. This has opened up a whole new layer to the art world that I didn’t know existed. It has also opened up my eyes to the negativity surrounding the art, making me ask myself ‘what actually is art?’ 

Many people are under the impression that art is simply drawing and painting and if it doesn’t stay true to real life then it isn’t art, it’s just a few blobs of paint on a canvas. 

These people are usually members of the puplic who haven’t researched art in general and their knowledge consists of the old classics of Van Gogh and Picasso, which of course will be a more traditional form of painting due to the era. 

People are unwilling to open up their minds and use their brains to think about what artwork may mean, be it a painting, sculpture, print, performance piece, textile piece, etc. They want to be able to say ‘oh isn’t that pretty’ or ‘That really looks like the old English countryside so it must be good!’ 

People often ask me what studying ‘fine art’ entails and I explain to them it covers the whole spectrum of the art world. And they say ‘oh so it’s painting and drawing and sculpture then?’ 

People are not well educated in the types of art that are available to them out there. Even at school in art class I was only really made aware of the traditional forms. I think because people cannot see the thought and theory that goes into more abstract pieces then they think much less thought has gone into it than a realistic painting when really that artist has probably just copied what they see instead of using what they feel. 

Art can be anything and everything but it is deemed artwork in an academic sense when it is placed in a critical setting such as a gallery setting or even just sat on a plinth. Yes, sometimes it is infuriating. I’m paying £9,000 a year to educate myself and make myself a better artist when I could simply turn a urinal upside down and call it art. It does make people angry but isn’t that the point? Isn’t art there to make people feel things regardless of what that thing is? Even if something is so bad that everyone despises it people still talk about it and how much they hate it. 

Too many people are putting a limit on art and these people are the close minded people who are unable to think for themselves. Almost all artwork has a great deal of thought regardless of whether the finished piece is a slash through a canvas. Use your brain and allow yourself to think and feel something. Allow your mind to open to the endless possibilities the art world holds and do not limit yourself. Limits are there for people that are too afraid to try something new and step outside their comfort zone. 

Think of all the amazing pieces and artists you are missing out on just because you have deemed it ‘not real art’.


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