I got a visit from Scott today. That was awesome, haven’t seen him in forever.
“Who’s this Scott character?” asked nobody.
Well, Scott is living proof that not all D&D and table-top RPG players are socially maladjusted nerds. He’s happily married to a lovely young woman with whom he has an adorable baby girl, has a normal job, dresses stylishly, and he enjoys assuming the role of a magic-wielding warrior cleaving his way through imaginary orcs and shit. A cool guy who is missed since he moved out to BC.
So basically, there are two opposed schools of thought on “what is art.”
One group, which is pretty much everybody, holds to the belief that art is this decorative thing with colours and shapes and whatnot. And this is fine. These people buy art because they like how it looks or sounds or tastes or feels or smells. Art for the senses.
The other group, which is pretty much just artists and “intellectuals,” holds to the belief that Art is this secret club that only really clever people can get into and appreciate, and that it is philosophy and science and religion all rolled into one and expressed through mundane sensory media. Again, this is fine. It challenges the way we see our world, our culture and ourselves. It pushes boundaries and invents new ways of experiencing the subjective whatever of the holy Art. These are the people who pay millions of dollars for pictures of squares or a stack of felt in the middle of a floor because they mean something.
Not everyone falls wholly into one school of thought or the other. And this, also, is fine. These people have a broader and perhaps more intense appreciation of art than would be considered “average,” but without the raw elitism.
Anyway, long story short, I hate “conceptualism.” People can make art that is both pretty AND meaningful and intellectually challenging and not pure “commercial” whatever. You don’t have to be Thomas Kincaide OR Joseph Kosuth. Whatever it is that you really dig, there are a million other people who feel the same way, and probably websites devoted to it somewhere. Don’t be afraid to admit you like something if you think it’s awesome just because some snobby asshole might look down his nose at you because of it. Flaming skulls are awesome. Dragons holding crystal balls on mountaintops are awesome. Rainbow kittens riding unicorns are… well, not awesome to me. At all. Pretty much the exact opposite of awesome, really. But if you like them, they’re awesome. Screw the critics and elites.