Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Is it Art?

What defines a masterpiece? Do we survey the number of people that enjoy the work? Does it have to change how its medium is defined? What makes Picasso and Van Gogh both master artists, yet both have wildly differing types of work?

All I know about art, be it audio, visual, or a combination of both, is whether or not I like it. How do I distinguish a multi-million dollar work of art from a $50 piece produced by some wannabe art student?

In a Washington Post experiment, it seems that I am not alone. There are so many people who are too busy in the hustle and bustle of life to take a moment for themselves and enjoy art for what it is. One of the world’s top musicians played in one of the busiest subway stations in Washington D.C. and went largely unnoticed. When I heard the audio clip of this man playing his Stradivarius, I couldn’t get over how well he could play a quick melody on one string while seemingly accompanying himself with the most exquisite vibrato on the adjacent string. If the article is too long to read, at least listen to the audio clip while you’re on your computer!

Without somebody telling me that the Mona Lisa is worth millions, would I come to that conclusion on my own? I’m not even sure I like Monet all that much… but I’m really not sure. I don’t know if I could have appreciated the finest musician of our time if I were to walk past him on the subway. However, I do know this; if it sounds good, it looks good, it must be art.

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Anonymous Dae said...

Read the article and listened to the clip. It's kind of humbling -- and it really does put a good perspective on what we call art. I'm saddened and enlightened at once (although none of what I read was truly surprising). I thought it was kind of cool that the children were all into it, but I also would be interested to know if there really is anything more to that than the fact that children, who haven't yet learned/needed to tune distractions out at will, will gravitate towards anything remotely interesting and out of the ordinary, rather than steering away from it.


8:38 PM  

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