Lately, I’ve been asked a lot about my painting. You’re probably sitting there thinking, “I thought she was a metalsmith?” Yes, yes I am. But I am an artist and before finding the fabulousness of pounding metal with a hammer, I did a variety of other art forms – drawing, painting, ceramics, photography. This, of course, was mostly in high school and college.
I never considered myself a painter and yet I still consider myself an artist. Is it possible to be an artist who doesn’t paint? Or one who doesn’t draw? What exactly IS art?
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts (here, here, and here for example) there is this (false) notion that art only involves certain media. Strangely some people consider performing arts (like dance, theater, or music) more of an art form than the practical/decorative arts of many craftspeople. Others think that writing is an art, but ceramics is something that retired people do to fill their time.
What is it about making with your hands a tangible object that is beautiful, but perhaps functional that moves this practice out of the realms of “art” and into some other, lesser realm.
No one form of art is any more or less than any other. Metalsmithing is just as valid (and “art worthy”) as improvisational jazz, expressionistic painting, or “high literature.” Even within the categories of kinds of art there are further, smaller categories that are looked down on (can you say sci-fi or metal-core?) Why are we so judgmental of this? Is it because it’s so subjective? Or do we just want to feel like what we like is all that matters?
I guess it’s probably a little of both.
What do YOU think constitutes art? Are any particular media less “art worthy” than others? Give us YOUR opinion in the comments.