You walk alone down a dark street, hood over your ears to block out the cold autumn night.  You keep an eye out to your left and right as you turn down the pitch black alley. It seems like the coast is clear, so you take out your supplies and start spraying.  Twenty minutes passed and you feel the bliss of creativity rushing through your veins when suddenly you hear footsteps and shouting directed towards you from the other side of the alley so you take off running, leaving your masterpiece unfinished.  When most people think of artists, this scenario is not the first thing that comes to mind; usually they think of pristine galleries with paintings displayed under bright fluorescent lights as appetizers are carried around on small trays and patrons applaud or scrutinize every piece of work.  These two different scenes seem like they have nothing in common, while in fact they have more in common than most people think.

Artist- Joe Iurato & Logan Hicks

 

 

 

Street art is a newer form of art that usually involves spray paint, brick walls, and quick getaways.  While early forms of street art were just considered graffiti and often gang related, the artistic craft has evolved into so much more.  When most young people today think of a modern artist, the name that usually comes to mind is Banksy.  Banksy and many others have taken what many people stigmatized as unsophisticated graffiti and turned street art into thought provoking and beautiful pieces.  Many street artists today can do works of art with a spray can and a brick wall that many prominent artists of the past couldn’t hope to replicate with the nicest oil paintings and a canvas.  Street art views the world as a canvas and while many critics say they’re eyesores around a city, some artists are able to turn a boring street corner into a beautiful landscape of color and culture with a barrier of entry simply being a couple dollars for a spray can and an empty wall in their neighborhood.  What most of these artists do is illegal since many of them don’t bother to get a permit or even permission to start painting and this part of the movement should not be condoned, but this form of art gives people that would otherwise never be noticed the opportunity to express themselves.  

Black-chinned Hummingbird by Ashli Sisk

And isn’t that what art really is?  A medium for people to feel free and express themselves without judgement.  Modern art began that way and in some places still is, but many people view it as something that only people in high society are involved in so it isn’t viewed as cool or popular.  But in reality the true artists, whether they paint on a canvas with oil paintings in front of a park landscape, or spray paint a mural of Lebron James in a Lakers jersey on a street corner in Los Angeles, they are all the same in that they want to express their creativity and skill for the world to see.  It is true that at one point, street art was just tagging to claim territory in inner cities, but it has now evolved to convey complex, beautiful, and sometimes painful messages about the neighborhoods or country that they’re painted in and should be given the same respect as artists of old whose paintings hang in galleries all over the world.

…to be continued.

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?