About Me

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I am a neo-Victorian Steampunk Goth. I am a professional seamstress working in Las Vegas at "Le Reve," and an avid knitter. My friend and I have recently launched a podcast about Las Vegas, Knitting, and our educational experiences with both. My Ravelry username is RedQueen. Come friend me!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Great Art Debate

So I'd like to talk a little about art. Not as in "What Makes Great Art?" but how I classify art. David Reidy of the Sticks & String podcast (see sidebar) has mentioned several times that he doesn't consider himself an expert on art, he only knows what he likes. Well, I DO consider myself an expert on art, and here are my qualifications:

My maternal great-grandmother graduated from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

My maternal grandmother graduated from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and was a member of Phi Mu, an artist sorortity, and was a cartographer during WWII.

My mother worked at the Santa Fe Opera as a costumer, and lived in Berkeley, CA in the late 60s - mid 70s.

My father was an actor in college, lived in Berkley CA (same time), and is a pretty great sketch artist.

My sister is a painter and sculptor, with a BFA in Fine Arts.

My brother is getting his degree in Medical Illustration.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts, concentration in Lighting Design. I am married to a Special Effects Makeup Artist and Theatre carpenter. We lived and worked in LA for almost a decade in the big theatres (Mark Taper Forum, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, LA Opera, CLOSBC, the Geffen Playhouse, Hermosa Beach Playhouse, among others).

Not to mention having been to the Louvre, Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, the National Gallery in Edinburgh, ALL the museums in the Bay Area, etc. etc.

So. I think I'm qualified to give an opinion about art. After all, I've seen and experienced quite a lot of it. That being said, I am now going to give you a synopsis of the Four Categories of Art. (This is the part that makes my sister want to strangle me until I turn blue. You'll see why in a minute.)

The Categories:
1) Good Art that I Like.
2) Good Art that I Don't Like.
3) Bad Art that I Like.
4) Bad Art that I Don't Like.

That's it. All art fits into one of these categories. If you ask anyone who knows me, no one will be able to say that I'm an indifferent person, or someone who stifles her opinion. So what about art that I'm "meh" about? Well, obviously I don't LIKE it, so it goes into either category 2 or 4.

Now then, you may wonder: "What qualifies art as 'good'?" For the purposes of argument, I'm going to say that Good v. Bad Art has nothing to do with price, popularity or age, and everything to do with talent and technical skill. The next several posts will be examples, and I hope you can join me in mocking categories 2 and 4 whole-heartedly. And category 3, for that matter. :) Don't worry if you don't agree with my assessment -- pretty much everybody I've ever met gets into arguments with me about this. But I have a card that trumps their argument every time: You can't tell me what I like or don't like. All training and experience aside, that belongs to me. :)

1 comment:

  1. I, too, have a background and education in the arts (theater and film) and this is the same debate that gets drummed up in classes ad nauseam. But I'm not complaining! I love it when people have the qualifications "necessary" to be an educated art critic, but are still able to say that they like some qualitatively "bad" works as well. I am interested to hear more from you!