Is It Art?

Hi Friends,

Last week I was cleaning out the studio in preparation for a gallery visit, and I uncovered a dropcloth that had been used underneath six or seven paintings. I was struck by the beauty and simplicity of the piece. It’s elegant in a way that I could never create intentionally had I tried.

I decided to crop out a section of it, stretch it, and hang it in the house. Here’s how the finished painting looks. Click on the image to see it larger in a browser.

Cassandra Tondro painting

“Accidental Art,” 36 x 24 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

It’s fun and light-hearted. These aren’t colors that I would have chosen, but I think they look great together. And I like the asymmetry of the piece. It makes me feel happy when I see it.

The synchronicity and effortlessness of this painting is satisfying in a way that more complicated work is not. It’s a reminder that not everything has to be difficult, complex or a struggle. Some things come naturally, without me having to try so hard.

Here’s the thing. If I didn’t create it intentionally, is it art? Is it art because I saw it, thought it looked beautiful, and elevated it to the status of art? Is it art just because I say so?

What is your definition of art? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us here.

With love and appreciation,
Cassandra

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4 Comments

  1. The definition of art is in the eye of the beholder! If I look out across the horizon, I see it as God’s creation of art. Someone else might look across the horizon, and see a field of corn, some trees, blue sky, maybe a couple of clouds and a bird. We both see the same thing but Interpret it differently. A child draws on paper, I see art, someone else might see scribble. So, I think art is in the eye of the beholder! ❤️

    1. Hi Cindy. Good point about art being in the eye of the beholder. But then what about the gatekeepers who think they get to decide what is art and what is not? The curators, gallery owners, art historians. What is presented to us as official art history is actually only a small sampling of what I would consider art that was being done at the time, and it’s skewed by things like gender and race. The populace doesn’t get to decide these things!

  2. My mind went directly to the influential Dada movement. The ready mades, R Mutt and Marcel Duchamp.

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