How do you differentiate between “good art” and “bad art”?
As far as I’m concerned, good art is whatever appeals to you. Bad art is whatever doesn’t appeal to you.
Art scholars, critics, and even collectors have perpetuated the myth that they alone, possessed with an exclusive knowledge and education of art, know what art is good and what isn’t. Yet even among the “art intelligentsia” there is no universal agreement about art or artists. One person’s view that Basquiat’s work is that of a (deranged) five-year old is another person’s masterpiece worth north of $110 million.
If even the intelligentsia aren’t in total agreement, then why should the opinion of the casual passerby at an art gallery be any less valid?
Sadly, this sort of elitism has the chilling effect of making art seem out of reach for most people. Art is no different than music. Yet people freely give their opinions of a musician or song or band in casual conversation, but are hesitant to be so candid about art.
The significance and influence of an artist may not be debatable, but whether their art is “good” or “bad” is wholly in the eyes of the beholder.
Eddie Van Halen famously once said about music, “If it sounds good, it is good.”
The next time you see hesitate to go to a gallery or form an opinion on a painting or artist, apply Van Halen’s musical approach to art...
If it looks good, it is good.