What Qualifies As Art?

by Victoria Landis on August 2, 2010

As an artist, I get asked a lot of questions.  Some are hilarious.  Most are normal.  In my brand-spanking-new weekly blog, I’ll answer them the best I can.

What qualifies as art?  There are as many answers as there are people.  Gosh, I’m helpful, aren’t I?  But it is a bit like asking someone ‘ what does water taste like?’

To make it simpler (I hope), here’s my take.  Art is an expression of emotion.  Whether it be joy, love, anger, or fear.  If the expression of that emotion creates something you can revisit again and again (hear a song, see a play, gaze at an oil painting, etc.), then it is art.

The perceived value of that art is now up to you.  If you love it, it’s worth everything.  If you don’t even like it – to you it is worthless.

The most wonderful thing about art is how it speaks to people in the personal language of their soul.  Every one of us has viewed or heard something that claims us the instant we’re exposed to it.  We don’t know why, but it draws us in immediately.  Conversely, we can stare for hours trying to ‘understand’ a piece, and - no matter what the critics say – still not care a whit for it.

If you’re asking what qualifies as art for investment purposes, then I suppose you need to keep up with the New York and Milan buzz.  The fine art masters are a sound investment, but whose work to buy among the up and comers?  There are no guarantees.  It seems a bit like gambling to me.

Buy what you love and enjoy the heck out of it.  It’s your life.  It goes way too fast – you might as well see the wall art or sculpture that you love and makes you happy in your home and office.

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