On recognising ART

Someone said to me that something is a work of ART, if the author/artist themselves don't first recognise it as ART. The justification given was that, if a piece of work simply mirrors what has already been recognised as ART (e.g. the Mona Lisa), it should not be called 'ART' but a replica.



1: a polished or smooth surface (as of glass) that forms images by reflection

2 : something that gives a true representation; an exemplary model


: to know and remember (someone or something) because of previous knowledge or experience

: to accept or be aware that (something) is true or exists

: to accept and approve of (something) as having legal or official authority

(1: to acknowledge formally: as

a : to admit as being lord or sovereignb : to admit as being of a particular statusc : to admit as being one entitled to be heard : give the floor tod : to acknowledge the de facto existence or the independence of

2: to acknowledge or take notice of in some definite way: as

a : to acknowledge with a show of appreciation <recognize an act of bravery with the award of a medal>b : to acknowledge acquaintance with <recognize a neighbor with a nod>

3a : to perceive to be something or someone previously known <recognized the word>

b : to perceive clearly : realize)


: something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings

: works created by artists : paintings, sculptures, etc., that are created to be beautiful or to express important ideas or feelings

: the methods and skills used for painting, sculpting, drawing, etc.

(1: skill acquired by experience, study, or observation <the art of making friends>

2a : a branch of learning: (1) : one of the humanities (2) plural : liberal arts

b archaic : learning, scholarship

3: an occupation requiring knowledge or skill <the art of organ building>

4a : the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects; also : works so produced

b (1) : fine arts (2) : one of the fine arts (3) : a graphic art

5a archaic : a skillful plan

b : the quality or state of being artful

6: decorative or illustrative elements in printed matter)

First of all, I feel that the definition of art has certainly evolved throughout the years. I interpret the the earlier statement (about a work of ART not first being recognised as ART) in two ways:

1. ART must be something innovative and fresh - it should not conform to the limits to ART.

What are the limits to ART? If an artist must overcome boundaries/think outside the box/make something previously unimaginable... in order to create ART, surely that itself is a limitation.

What we think ISN'T ART, what we think IS ART... it all seems to be determined by what is previously recognised as ART/what the previous limits have been.

(Will ART/has ART hit a wall? Does ART have a future?

ART will of course have a future. ART is about relations and interactions. As long as interaction exists, so will ART. - Jeb

I think it depends, read below*)

My argument is that the artist him/her/itself (if it can THINK) must believe that the work is ART in order for it to be ART. I feel that ART cannot be determined by art critics/art market/public audience because their judgement (and sometimes the artist's judgement) will be determined by their present knowledge (whether they are known knowns, or unknown knowns as coined by Donald Rumsfeld). We cannot deny the great influence of the 'knowledge'/'awareness' (of ART) has on us. I think that in order for the work to be ART, the determined artist must be able to justify it to others - even if the justification is simply 'I feel that this is a piece of ART', as that, in my opinion, indicates that the person was consciously creating ART.

Why does ART have to be conscious?

Indeed many pieces of modern and contemporary ART seem to be an inci/acci-dent, but I believe them to each be a result of something that was thought through. If Jackson Pollock first drip was done subconsciously/accidentally, it was his conscious decision to keep the drip/to agree for it to exhibited as ART. I feel that if someone truly believed that every minute of their life were ART, then he/she could in my opinion, be a piece of living artwork.

Belief vs consciousness?

If the consciousness is the final gut instinct, I think that could be belief.

*Can a person, born and raised and living in complete seclusion (away from human interaction and away from popular culture), make ART?

Yes - if they truly believe that their work is ART. Although I do agree that ART is a form of response to interaction, I think that it does not have to be solely between humans. Perhaps it could be an interaction between one's conscious and subconscious, or an interaction with the surrounding (landscape, sounds, experience etc)

No - if their belief originates from someone else's opinion/comment - my doubt lies in the idea that if someone were to be in complete seclusion, how would they know what ART is? Will they have the ability to recognise ART?

Post-humous ART

Again, if the person did not first recognise him/herself, the work - if recognised as ART by the others - simply falls into the contemporaneous category of the ART, which disproves the intepretation of ART needing to break limits and boundaries.

2. I forgot my second interpretation.

Finally - If the artist himself does not first recognise their work as ART, why should others?

#reflection #artfoundation

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