What is Art?
“…that you were not engaged with us because of your person; because of the parody of work that you display as “art” are a taint to that which is pure and true.” – anonymous
So I received this in an email yesterday from a fellow artist that is involved in ‘supporting’ fellow poets and artists through different methods of group interactions, writing prompts, competitions etc.
Might I also mention this someone has reblogged my work multiple times and has also left kind, supportive and encouraging mentions on many of my poetry posts. So when I read the above comment I was completely shocked.
After much thought I have decided to leave this person anonymous and coming to this conclusion was a big challenge for me. I take leadership, image, honesty and example very seriously. I realize it’s not about the person it’s the idea of what art is that really got me going.
I am aware that the word art is vague to some and very specific to others. Its idea can be expressed in so many ways, most especially with contemporary, lyrical poetry.
Do you take art as freedom of visual or any other expression of emotion?
How do you define art?
Are you art?
There are many poets that stick to classic methods of poetry and I completely respect and support all artists in their forms of expression. I admire it actually, as I am not nearly disciplined nor even educated enough in poetry, to stay with in the boundaries or confines of structured forms, hence my free verse expressions…maybe one day I will find the time to hone my expression to fit into some traditional poetry forms but then again probably not as, well, I’ve found my niche. Free verse, contemporary poetry.
Whether you decide to value my expression or not is entirely up to you. (Obviously stated, I know)
This situation has rubbed me the wrong way because I find it appalling that someone who claims to support fellow poets and artists could utter such words after obviously showing false support of my ‘art’ form with kind comments, reblogs, shares, wanting to collaborate etc. by blatantly insulting my work.
Social media and generating traffic is a huge part of blogging to many people, if you don’t have readers or a community (of people that genuinely appreciate your art form) how do you expect to sell your book, art, photographs, poetry etc. If you are not looking to sell anything then how will people read or see your work if they do not know about it? Some people don’t care and that’s fine.
Sharing and community are a huge part of social networking. But even then getting exposure does not guarantee you traffic, sales, followers, readership etc. People have to see something they like, something they want or something they are interested in. Hope fully that something is you or your product or art form, whatever it may be.
But why are we discussing social media?
Well, blatantly lying about someone’s work and offering up false words is over the top to me and really under handed.
Generate traffic people, I’m all for that, community is the number one friend to blogging but don’t leave false WORDS and slander people and their art.
REMEMBER: TO ME, YOU ARE ART.
Wow, I am sorry this has happened to you Jennifer. Not sure what else to say.
Thanks John. I needed to vent and get my thoughts out.
Hi Jennifer 🙂 You now I’m not a ‘poet,’ per se, but I do write (if you’ve had the chance to explore both my sites) & enjoy free verse poetry on a more emotive level.
To me, art is the creative extension of one’s self through a variety of mediums. One’s art may not be enjoyed or appreciated by all; that does not mean it should be dismissed or undervalued. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
‘Art’ should be real. Haters, on the other hand, are not 😉
Well said Joseph. I couldn’t agree more.
Hi Jennifer, First I’d like to say that whoever wrote those words shouldn’t have. There are many was to look at and identify art. Every person has their own definition based on what they like and how it speaks to them. To claim something is not art is to ignore the opinion (and possibly feelings) of everyone that believes your work IS art. My Blog is focused mainly on Bipolar Disorder but one of the ways I deal with Bipolar is to write. I don’t know what to call it poetry, prose, free form, but whatever it is I enjoy it. When I get positive feedback from people “out there” it makes my effort worth it. And in the end I think that is a large part of what this is all about. Keep it up, you know we’ll all be following along.
Thank you Gavin. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and to leave me a note of encouragement. I have no plans to quit any time soon!
Cheers and keep writing!
I am reading A Summer of Hummingbirds by Christopher Benfey at the moment. The cover reads, “Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade.” Not to sound trite, because it sounds like a painful and frustrating spot to be in, but I find this book inspiring in that ‘nothing is new under the sun’. These artists didn’t have smooth runs, not on any front!
Oh I absolutely agree with you. I just find it frustrating that this person is part of group that tries to prompt poetry writers! Kind of odd with that perspective on ‘art’!
Happy reading. There are some fantastic poets in that group!
Sometimes we find our mothers did know best; if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. I enjoyed your post.
Thank you Scott. I agree Mother’s do know best!
Art is expression whether it is a painting, graphics, a story or poetry. It’s something that comes from the heart, from within. Should we put lines and boundaries on it? I think not, if that were the case then some of our greatest ‘artists’ would have been silenced. I’m behind you and our other artists for their expressions. 🙂
Thank you Sahara. I couldn’t agree more. I just find it frustrating because this person is suppose to be helping other artists find their voices not dictate what is one and what isn’t you know?
Well that definitely is not helping nor supporting. Keep up the great work your doing, I enjoy your blogs 🙂 You inspire me to do more with mine.
Thank you. I’m glad to hear that. Have a wonderful end to the day!
Grayson Perry is great on this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03dsk4d
Thank you for sharing Marshall
I agree with your idea that art can mean different things to different people. For me, art is anything in which the person is expressing his or her own ideas that he or she created. This can be expressed through writing, painting, singing, playing instruments, sculpting, acting, and so many other things. I think that in order for something to be art, it can be mimicking someone else, but there has to be a new idea included to make the mimicked art even just a tiny bit different.
I like that thought Rebecca.
Thank you for sharing it.
You’re welcome. Great post. 🙂
Art can be so many things… freedom… emotion… release from oppression… imagination… nature. The tougher question may be, what isn’t art?
Very good question Chris! Food for thought with dinner tonight!
I’m new to you blog and already I respect your opinion having not read a sentence. I agree it’s rather off putting to be slandered by one thought of as a few artist. I look forward to reading your back log.
Thank you Benjamin. I really appreciate your views and kind words.
I hope you find some posts that you will enjoy.
and what is “pure and true”? let me guess, what he does.
the best is not to let that kind of people get into you, they just want to take advantage.
youre doing great, keep going 🙂
Art is feeling. Art is compassion. Art is the uniqueness you carry that sets you apart from all others. It is freedom and expression and spreads the seeds of the same in every living individual. So, yes, you are art. I am art. We create out of that hidden place in our hearts that no one sees yet reflects light whenever we shine creativity upon it. Be well and God bless you. xx
I think that you can see by all the comments, Jennifer, that despite the one disparaging comment, you have so much support from the people who read your blog. So take heart, and keep your art/poetry coming!
Thanks Teagan 🙂
Art just is. Anything we give meaning to is art. And, as writers, poets, photographers, artists – meaning is what we create. Art does not become non-art because someone chooses to declaim it as such. To deny meaning is not art. To create it: is.
This is for you:
Do not be pained
Words do cut deep, but wounds:
We wear their scars with pride.
Find meanings new to weave
Against this senseless tide.
By those who wish you silent.
Their wishes don’t abide.
Be art unframed
And let your poem’s canvass
Against them be your guide.
I needed to read these words today. Thank you.
I appreciate you taking the time to share them with me.
All the best.
P.S I could never be tamed 😉 lol
Good to know that you could never be tamed, and I am glad that my words were able to help if only a little. x
Hello, I was looking through google about the subject when I came across your blog. I read it and I was really surprised that someone would approach someone else like this but then I got to thinking. So I reread your post and realized there was no explanaton of anything else: no prior history, no previous altercations, except for where you said this person shared some of your stuff. It disturbed me and the reason why is this. It looks like you only told part of a story and excluded some potentially important pieces. Why did this person email you? Did they just email you out of the blue? Did you email them? I mean, what were the circumstances behind the email? How can we be sure that you didn’t email them threateningly? The people that Ive seen commenting only have your word to go on it, and as is so often the case, people are always willing to go on the word of people they think they can trust. And isn’t that the problem? You don’t have to provide any proof or evidence or anything. All you have to do is say a person said this to me or did this to me and then get people stirred up. I have been wanting to start a blog but I’m afraid to do so because of stuff like this. I’m afraid because when I see things like this, when I see people unwilling to post the full context of things and especially leaving out the name of the person who their claiming is upsetting them, I get suspicious. I’m skeptical. It’s sort of like watching fox news. I don’t mean to insult you. I just found your blog and can’t pretend to know who you are and the people that follow you and support might have a very good reason for doing so, but you haven’t given any chance at all for the other person to show their side of the story. Why is that? It seems that what this amounts to is a criticism, them pretty much saying they don’t like your work, and while they could have probably provide you with an explanation of why they don’t like your work, how is it, as some of your commentors would suggest, that this person is trying to take advantage of you? How is this person, as you seem to allude to, trying to tame you? It just sounds like they just don’t like you for whatever reason. If that’s the case, aren’t you just making it look like you actually are upset because you’re not getting the attention you want from them? But eve so your blog is beautiful and if I do start a blog I hope to be as supported as this. I just hope its not blind support.
Hi Barbara and welcome to my blog. I’m sorry you that you happend upon it under such circumstances.
I hope this situation does not deter you from starting a blog! Blogging is a wonderful outlet to express your thoughts, emotions and self.
That being said, I understand your suspicions and they don’t insult me at all.
I am thankful that you shared your thoughts on this issue and you’ve given me some things to think about.
I have always been open and honest about my life, who I am and what I am about.
I trust that my readers see and know me well enough to know that I would not bring light to an issue to harm another. I kept a lot under wraps to protect the parties involved after much thought.
There are always 2 sides to a story and if the person involved wanted it to go further I’m sure the issue would have been addressed and things would proceed with proofs and evidence to show I hold no blame in this situation. Thus far there is no need. It was not my intention that it go any further then venting and expressing thought on being honest with your comments and well wishes to fellow bloggers.
If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all, right? Words I may have thought more about before even posting this post…
I hope that helps.
IMHO art ‘is’ what fosters a positive emotion in the person experiencing said ‘art’ object. That object can be created by another human or nature itself. Obviously not all will agree with how a particular person perceives whatever it is that is being called art. Again, IMHO, it is sad when one person chooses to express their dissatisfaction with what another’s point of view by publicly voicing obnoxious comments. I’m sorry you were hurt.
What a stink buzz Jennifer, bummer that you had such a confrontational experience. I work as a supervisor for postgraduate art students, and I am always left feeling sad when artists make negative remarks about the quality, or lack thereof, they perceive in other people’s expressions. I think often, such comments are tied in with feelings of insecurity. Really, the fact a person creates should be measure enough to define their creations as art. We are all different, with our own lenses that help us perceive and describe our values, so art can really be defined in at least seven billion ways, right? I love it that much of your response has been a discussion around how we create community through creative practice. For me, the value of that intent for your artwork is what resonates with me as part of your creative community. Keep on writing about your experiences in the multiple voices you do.
Nga mihi nui ki a koe (big greetings to you),
Dear Jennifer, I thought this to be such an important issue that I have included it as part of my Let’s Talk Opinion series: http://shardsofsilence.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/what-is-art/
Thank you for sharing, and for your subsequent wonderful posts.
I saw that Vic. Thank you so much for continuing the conversation about the true meaning of Art.
Cheers and continued success to you. The poem was beautiful btw. Thank you.
You are very welcome, Jennifer – yes, I saw your comment immediately after posting this. And thank you for staying strong. Re-reading your “Marriage is nor me” post next. I perused it when you first posted it, but didn’t feel I gave it a good enough read, so looking forward to it now that I have a spare minute before lunch.
Wishing you a lovely day ahead,
Thank you. It’s my birthday today so I hope it’s a good day. Some one will be in trouble if it’s not! lol 😀
Yes the marriage post is a reblog. I didn’t write it. But it is fantastic!
Are you on my facebook page?
Happy Birthday! And many happy returns. I am sure you will have an amazing day. They always are when spent with those we love 🙂
Just reread the marriage post – it was certainly worth a reblog.
Regarding Facebook – I didn’t know you had a page. How do I find you?
Thank you. Liked it 🙂
Brilliant post. Art just is, it is us, it is natural, it is expression of all human emotion for which we have no other outlet. It is more funny to me there are such narrow-minded oddities who would bother with such a negative statement… Battling with the canon was once my role as an English Lit grad, as an artist myself I break down conventions and suit myself; is that not what the Internet is for?! 🙂