What is Good Art? And Bad?
by Jollion Hooley
Giovanni Mother and Child
What do we perceive when we look at a piece of art? Does it give us another perspective? What emotional feelings do you get when looking at a piece of art?
More importantly, if it is “good” art, what makes it so? Who is to say it is “good?” Is this purely subjective or is it objective in the eyes of the viewer?
In my opinion, all art should give out some form of communication. That might be absolute horror, it might be fun or happiness, it may bring a smile to your face, it could be hate for an enemy.
Have a look at the “old masters” drawings and paintings – you’ll see angels, saints, heavenly forms as well as beggars and lost souls. Have you ever assessed the feelings you get from specific paintings, modern or old?
This is not quite the same as looking through a glossy book of great paintings. Go to a museum and see the real painting as size of the artwork may well influence your emotions. Colors are never quite the same in real life compared to magazines.
The large paintings should be viewed at a distance, not close up as to see the brush strokes used or the scumbling effects the artist has struggled with.
Another influence is how it has been framed. Those gold ornate rococo (acanthus styles) can be quite overwhelming which detracts from the painting itself. Some frames grab more real estate per square inch that the painting.
If it is “good” art to you, what makes it so? Can you define specifics in the painting that feeds you some kind of communication? Are you attracted to it as it has been drawn very well or are you repulsed by the objects within the picture frame?
Show your best friend you painting and ask them “What do you think this painting is telling you?” or something similar. NOT “do you like this picture.”
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