Just What Is A Painting?

My definition of a painting:

A few brilliant strokes of paint to be found among a number of not so brilliant stokes of paint with a large number of useless strokes of paint added in a feeble attempt to correct the not so brilliant strokes of paint.

Probably could include literature, film making, music composition as well. In fact probably could include the universe.

Just wanted to help those in the art academic world who may be researching the topic.

Useless Information Regarding Art That Is Actually Quite Useful

This post is yet another rambling bit of nonsense making no claims of sagacious insight, so you are now warned.

First two unrelated thoughts which could make great sayings on coffee mugs, although the coffee mugs would have to be rather large.

Very large coffee mug one: One thing that I keep telling myself is that an artist doesn’t “draw” the model but rather “interprets” the model.

Very large coffee mug two: Art historians present lectures about how art changes through time. But art doesn’t change. The customer does.

Now some thoughts as to the types of people who bother to look at art objects or what ever creative product is in front of them. And more importantly how they see the object. To illustrate the concept I have created a beautiful diagram because you can never go wrong if you have a beautiful diagram to make something sound important. I sincerely hope there are no spelling errors in this diagram because I am too lazy to re-do it.

types of people who look at art
Types of People Who Look At Art

Obviously there is a wide amount of overlap in these groups, but for now let us assume this orderly structure (since humans generally love orderly structures) consists of five discrete buckets. The categories are determined by what each group thinks when looking at an art object.

  1. Art Collectors would say “Could I buy this?”
  2. Art Professionals (academic instructors, museum personnel, etc.) would say “Could I verbalize and curate this?”
  3. Art Dealers of course would say “Could I sell this?”
  4. Art Makers would say “Could I make this?”
  5. People who are simply curious would say “Huh?”

Well so much for that. The system works great if everyone stayed in their bubble.

The Tomb of the Sacred Object

Well sometimes I have questions about the life cycle of an art object. I am generally okay with its creation from the deep recesses of the human mind, soul, heart, or whatever but am not sure how it is supposed to live its life. If it is a meal or performance it obviously dissolves into the cosmos. Or the digestive tract. But what of a sculpture of clay, stone or metal? What should happen to creative content embedded into a physical object? Fear not dear readers. As you have chosen to utilize what ever small portion of your life on this planet reading this blathering artist post, you shall be soon enlightened. Or perhaps not, no guarantees here.

I basically enjoy museums. I don’t like the admission charge, but that’s another story. It is curious how museum directors keep hoping from job to job. Are there perhaps some politics in play within the institutions of culture? Say it ain’t so! Well anyway to the matter at hand. The “sacred” object.

First let me bring you an illuminating graphic, created with almost no concern as to its truth:

how art stuff works

At one point in human history, perhaps several points, the museums were born. They evolved from cabinets of curiosities to the tombs of the sacred.


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