Sunday, November 09, 2008

Is It Fine Art?

I had a short discussion with an artist friend at the opening the other night. We talked about the stigma certain groups or galleries have against a certain type of art. With me, it's collage. For him, it's that he's an illustrator. I've been turned down by galleries that tell me they don't show collage. He has been rejected from shows and other opportunities because his work was considered illustration and not art. He says he's even been lumped into the craft category which is usually reserved for baskets, jewelry and the like. I've run into thinking like that in the past with my cartoons. In college I was asked by a teacher if there was a way for me to use my combine cartooning and fine art. I understood where she was coming from but now I have to ask the question: Why isn't cartooning a fine art? Why aren't my friend's wonderful illustrations considered fine art? I do think the lines are more blurry than they were when I was a younger man. Urban, lowbrow, street art (whatever you want to call it) does a lot to encorporate any and everything into fine art. That's why I love it so much. They are pushing the edges out even further...breaking the rules.
For what it's worth I do understand why some people don't consider collage an art. I probably had some of those feelings myself before I actually started doing it. All I can say to all you naysayers is: Try it sometime.

1 comment:

adam said...

i would argue anything can be art because it's all up to the viewer. since going back to school, i've read some arguments by historians that were art in their eloquence and impact on the field. art expresses creativity so anything can be interpreted as art because through creativity, new ideas are expressed and old ideas are reinterpreted. i admit there are ideas i don't like or wish i hadn't been exposed to and that aren't pleasant but that's not the point and it's just my opinion. "fine art" as defined by your former teacher, seems very limited and far too narrow...almost as if portraits and impressionists are the extent of his/her definition. wake up! arguments are art...decorating is art...architecture is art...writing is art...collage is art...illustration is art...if there were some sort of definition of art, new ideas wouldn't be expressed and we might as well have stopped after the inclusion of perspective during the renaissance...keep producing!