What Is Art?

By E. Brown

I remember the question from Art School. Students and professors alike went round and round about the topic. What is Art? For a long time Art used to be considered inspirational, edifying, and in some cases awe inspiring. What is Art? Art has always been a communicative medium either in transmitting information or emotion. No doubt, artists see the world from unique perspectives. From marveling at the beauty and intricacies of a flower petal to admiring the disrupted patterns of a tire tread on a street — created things and the admiration of them are part of human DNA.

What Is Art?In 1955, Robert Rauschenberg caused a storm of controversy after he found a stuffed goat, stuck a tire around it body and mounted it on top of a painting for display (see image). People either loved it or hated it. And, the debate ensued: what is Art?

Today, two year old Freddie Linsky is bringing up the issue again (with a little help from his mother). Freddie has been creating art with condiments and more recently paint. His mother assisted him by posting them on What Is Art?Charles Saachi’s online gallery and added some provocative captions (props for mom’s copy writing!).

She claimed her son was an art critic and and a familiar face at major exhibitions, and added ludicrously overblown captions to his offerings.

One creation of random red and green splodges called Sunrise was captioned: “A bold use of colour. Inspired by the ‘plein air’ habit of painting by Monet, drawing on the natural world that surrounds us all.”

And his black scrawlings in a work entitled The Best Loved Elephant are captioned:

“The striking use of oriental calligraphy has the kanji-like characters stampeding from the page, showing the new ascent of the East. It is one of Linsky’s most experimental works.”

– From The Daily Mail

Freddie’s mom, a lecturer and art critic, claims she never thought people would take seriously the “over-the-top” descriptions of her son’s paintings. Yet, a gallery in Berlin has asked to show the toddler’s work. Not bad.

So what is art? For many, the debate still rages on.

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