Have you ever told yourself you are not an artist?
What if I told you your very thoughts could be considered art – art that people will pay handsomely for?
At the Museum of Non Visible Art, based in New York, you don’t view paintings on the gallery walls, you view words describing a picture from the artist’s imagination.
These descriptions come with a hefty price tag. In 2011, a woman paid $10,000 for a piece called “Fresh Air”.
WHEN ART IS CRAP
Don’t have an artistic bone in your body? There are other products of the body that can be wrapped up as art. And sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Italian artist Piero Manzoni created 90 tin cans filled with faeces and titled them “Artist’s Shit”. One tin sold for €124,000 at Sotheby’s on May 23, 2007.
Tins of poo may not be for everyone but one Swiss art collector was happy to part with more than $43,000 for a sculpture of Venus de Milo made out of excrement.
Panic at the thought of pushing a paintbrush? Try chewing gum instead. A wall filled with pieces of chewed bubble gum in Seattle is being hailed as a work of art.
If you do gain the courage to paint on canvas, could be using just one bright, solid colour is enough to get you noticed.
Or you could try throwing various colours at the canvas to see if your abstract design attracts the millions of dollars that Jackson Pollock paintings do.
If money is the measure of what constitutes worthy art, then these stories illustrate that each and every one of us can produce good art.
WHAT IS ART ANYWAY?
The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
It doesn’t matter what materials are used (or not, in the case of non-visible art), according to the definitions. Art has more to do with how it makes you feel. And that is different for everyone.
One of my all-time favourite paintings is Vincent van Gogh’s yellow on yellow Sunflowers. I can’t help but smile when I see that painting,
Not everyone feels the same way though.
In 1890 a Belgian artist threatened to withdraw his own pictures from an exhibition in Brussels as he did not wish “to find himself in the same room as the laughable pot of sunflowers by Mr Vincent”.
When it comes to art, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
One man’s crap is another man’s fine example of the relationship between art production and human production. That was the purpose of Manzoni’s poo filled tins.
WHEN YOU ARE NOT AN ARTIST, BUT YOU ARE.
If we concentrate on the part of the art definition that focuses on beauty, everything we do is a form of art. Every time we plan a garden, plate a meal, set a dinner table, we are creating a work of art. Who’s to say these works are any less valuable than Vincent’s Sunflowers, or Jackson’s Blue Poles?
If the intention is to create something of beauty, something that will offer joy to those who see it, then it is art.
When we recognise we are all artists, using various tools and materials to create our pieces, it is not such a jump to experiment with other materials – things to sculpt with, things to paint and draw with – and experience creating art in its more traditional sense.
WHY MAKE ART?
Focusing on the art of creating something beautiful is a form of mindfulness that helps us find our flow.
Aside from the joy of it brings us, there are many health benefits to creating art.
There have been numerous studies showing the positive effects of creating art to lift our moods and reduce stress and anxiety.
Making visual art can also improve connections within the brain.
One study found that creating art was much more powerful than just observing it.
Using the creation of artworks as a distraction can help us deal with sadness, according to other research.
We can also use art to help organise our thoughts. We can tell our stories and gain a better understanding of our own issues and how to deal with them.
Believe it or not, mindless doodling actually helps us to focus, particularly when we’re listening to something we want to remember later.
One study found that participants who were doodling during a lecture could recall 29 per cent more information than those who were not.
Regardless of what others think about our art, the point is how it makes us feel and the benefits it gives us.
To quote Andy Warhol
Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.
If George had the courage to paint a picture, you can too.
What art will you be creating today?
Wishing you the chance to tap into your inner artist and a gleeful week, Tamuria.