I’ve been asking this question for a while. It usually comes when I’m at the exhibition or similar cultural event. Why are some artists famous even though I don’t like their work and vice versa? How do I know if that image / text / movie will appeal to most audiences? How do people decide the piece of art is good or not?
There are many kinds of art from music, visual, theater to architecture. We can think of art as anything that is the result of human expression of creativity. It’s playfulness, joy, it’s a gift. Art is a form of self-expression. The idea is to present your thoughts, opinions and values. Art is also a form of communication. For example a book can convey some message. Art and culture form society and influence its direction.
Art is subjective and unimportant.
Art is so diverse because it is self-expression and the expression of individuality. We all have our own universe in our head and therefore not only the creation but also the perception of the audience is highly subjective. The importance of art is seen in terms of basic survival needs. Images, books, photos, film, music, etc., are not eatable. Many other jobs are more important than art creation. For example, farmers, police, firefighters, doctors, seamstresses, etc.
To explain the question: “What makes art the good art?” I set three criteria:
- emotional emptiness of the audience
- identification with the thought expressed
- high requirements for the imagination of the audience.
We live in a time of surplus and consumerism.
These days can be characterized by the fact that people are very materially secure. But this is associated with a high workload and often boring and stereotypical jobs. Another feature is the loading of the left brain hemisphere (analyst, rationality, reason, target orientation, profits, etc.), high life tempo and superficial instant relationships, etc.
People are emotionally empty and have the need to get those emotions somewhere. When you watch the movie you move to another reality. You will stop perceiving your life for a moment and the whole consciousness will be transferred to the action of the movie. The brain does not see the difference between reality and imagination. That is why we feel emotions (fear, amazement, love, tension) when we watch a movie or listen to music, etc. Of course positive emotions are more pleasant to humans than the negative ones. For this reason funny and entertaining works will be evaluated better. Better responses will be given to works that produce more emotions and works that produce positive emotions rather than negative ones.
If the work involves something in which “one sees himself “then the thing will attract him.
Another criterion is the ability of people to resonate with the message art expresses. From time to time I will come across the opinion that people would want a artist to be their leader. For example, when Tomas Klus released a single Pbobohudooken where he expresses his disgust with the Czech political scene, many people wanted him to run for president. In essence it is nonsense because Klus is the singer and not the politician. I’m sure he wouldn’t want to do such job and if he did, he would have to change his personality by accepting that role. But the point is that he expressed his feeling and opinion on Czech politics and many listeners agreed with it.
The society is consumption-oriented.
Sometimes I notice the limitations of imagination and creativity of the consumer society. Mainly because of the orientation of thinking towards consumption. Especially abstract visual art is a lot about imagination, about the effect of colors and compositional equanimity. If a consumer does not see something specific in the picture he feels confused and cannot judge whether he likes it or not because he simply cannot imagine what the picture is about. They do not feel the energy and emotions of the work. You will not impress the consumer society with abstraction. The more imagination-intensive work the less interested the audience will be.
Art is not about impression but about expression.
Art evaluation is very subjective and it depends on who evaluates it. I don’t think there’s anything like good and bad art. However, as I wrote at the beginning, it is a form of self-expression so the opinion of the audience shouldn’t be critical for the creator but the joy of the creation process itself.