What is Art?

My latest portrait: Stabat Mater, Ballpoint pen on paper

What is art?

That is a question that had been avoid for any reasonable answer to me. At the beginning I was thinking that it has to do something with beauty but after painters like Picasso, Cezanne or Van Gogh, I don’t know how describe beauty anymore, beauty is fragile and very subjective. Then I was thinking that, maybe, Art has something to do with transcendence and the quest for God, the Universe, the Supreme Being or, if you’re a believer, whatever you call It but there are some art that is very earthly, very grounded in our earth and very objective, like Duchamp or Ai Weiwei.

Now I think in art in some kind of tool, like a magnifier or even reading glasses and let me explain why. Art is not beauty but can help you understand beauty, Art is not transcendence but can help you to understand all about spiritual world, Art is not social justice but can help you to understand it.

Not all art is for everything, the same as a medicine for muscle pain cannot help you with arthritis but art can help you to understand something that has been hidden for years. So, the labour of the artist is to create these fantastic tools that can help you discover new things or understand them better.

But be careful: if I give to my kid my reading glasses, He’s going to try to use them and he will realize that he cannot read anything, he cannot interact properly because those glasses are not suitable for him, the same is with Art, not all art is suitable for everybody. That’s why we often hear ‘this is not Art’ or ‘my kid can do this better’… does it mean that is bad art? No, it means that is not suitable for that person.

So, next time you go to a museum think about this and interact with Art in different ways, as a tool and play with it first to try to understand its use.

3 responses to “What is Art?”

  1. I like your recent portrait Carlos, I think it’s beautiful.

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