What’s good art?

There is a discussion started on Facebook about what about art makes it “good art”.  Also there is mention of “fake art”.  I have never heard of that.  I think they are two good questions: what is good art and what is fake art?

First of all, I think we need to define what art is in the first place.  And of course, what is craft? And then, what makes the art and/or craft good? There are books devoted to those questions, but here’s my take.

“Good art” is so subjective isn’t it? First, there’s the artist’s intention.  What is the artist creating the piece of art to express or say? Is it an invitation to consider the value of the unconscious or dream in the night? An idea? A protest?  Or a feeling or experience? The love of a landscape or of the shapes and values in a person’s face? Or heck, just the expression of beauty?

Many people get caught up in the media determining if something is art. Painters assume that everything they paint is art just because they use paint.  Many of those same painters say that mosaic  or fused glass can’t be art – cuz it’s a craft because the piece is made with glass, ceramic, buttons, etc.  It can be artistic but not art.

Is a painting of a girlie with her head tilted to one side considered art? What about a painting of a heart? Is a mosaic of a dog considered art? Is a fused glass abstract wall piece art? What about a collage?

Okay, I think I brought up more questions than answers – cuz I think it’s so subjective.  It’s opinion.  One opinion shared in the Facebook discussion that really piqued my interest is the idea of good art having energetic impact.  YES! I have experienced art that had great energetic impact on me (one great example of Henri Moore’s large sculptures).  I have also experienced well-crafted paintings that had very little or not energetic impact.   So I gotta ask, if Marcel Duchamp’s Urinal had and still has energetic impact, would it be considered good art?

Another interesting part to me is the viewer.  The viewer is the one who takes in the images, forms, shapes, values…who may or may not know much about technique, or what the artist was thinking when he/she created the piece.  They may like the image or form – or they may hate it (I’m thinking penis sculptures that were taken down in Colorado in the last few years – I’m still not sure what the intent of the sculptor(s) was for those – maybe shock?)

So if a viewer likes what they see, or see it as beautiful, or are emotionally moved by it in some way – being disgust, awe, or wonder), or it’s good technique-wise, they would consider it good art I assume.  I wonder if that same person doesn’t like the intention or subject matter (which could be dear to the artist’s heart) and they might not like or consider it as “good”…it no matter how well crafted the piece is.

Oh yeah – what the heck is “fake art” ? Is it like the “fake news” phenomena that has reared its ugly head recently?


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