Wednesday 29 September 2010

Explaining art

He said:
I don't really 'get' the sculpture. It's just a sign of my artistic illiteracy.
I said
I think that if you can explain art simply, if you can say 'the sculpture means this', then it's not really art. You'd be better off with the words. Well, not necessarily. But it would then be like the simple signs such as a crossed-out cigarette to mean 'no smoking'.

Art, on the other hand, seems to be a medium for conveying things that cannot be put into words. That's not to say you can't talk about what it means, just that you can't get the answer, because there will always be more to say.
Which is not to say that the 'no smoking' sign cannot be seen as art. But in its role of telling you not to smoke it's not.


Steve said...

As Thelonious Monk once said - "talking about music is like dancing about architecture".


David Chapman said...