crappy art

What makes art ‘good’?

Is ‘good’ determined by how real a painting looks; by a pleasing combination of colour tones; by the subject of a painting? Or is ‘good’ simply and only about how you feel when you look at one particular piece of art?

Does it matter how long it takes an artist to create a painting? 

If a piece of art is beautiful and skillfully created quickly and with seemingly litabstract art painting good art great arttle effort, does the apparent lack of effort (by a clearly talented artist) de-value the final product’s worth? 

If an artist labours endlessly ( for days, months, years) and produces a work of questionable aesthetics, does the value of the final product increase solely based on the obvious determination and patience (special, admirable virtues) that were required to complete it?

Great art can be created during moments of experimentation; free and unhindered from self-consciousness. Often, it’s created after precise planning, trial and error. But the ‘greatness’ of any art is subjective; every person with their own opinion, and there will always be someone who says, ‘hey that’s good!’ and another (contrary) whabstract art painting good art great arto exclaims, ‘wow! That is some truly crappy art.”

What is it that makes art valuable for you? Does it have to look real (like ‘photograph’ real)? Is it the colours? And what about abstraction – can you get on board with that?


For more thoughts on the subject, take a look at this article about Crapstraction (crappy abstract art) in the professional art-market world today. Art in a commodity driven world.

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4 thoughts on “crappy art

  1. I belong to the “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” tribe; it’s very much subjective. Art that I consider “good” speaks to me in some way. It may inspire me, elicit some emotion, stir a memory, or even challenge me, but on some level it connects with some part of my being. And I guess that’s the crux; it speaks to me because of my personal experiences, my unique personality, my acquired preferences and biases that I have learned / inherited from others or my environment. So my determination of good art is very self-referential and egocentric. I guess if a lot of people find that a piece of art resonates with them, that could indicate that it the piece has greater inherent merit or “goodness”. BUT, sometimes a majority simply means that most of the people are wrong. So you can ask for my opinion, but you’ll have come to your own conclusions when you see art and maybe in our dialogue we can learn about each other!

    1. That’s an interesting question: what is it that causes one particular piece of art to resonate with large numbers of people (as opposed to just one or two)? What broadly appealing feature does it possess that others do not-

      1. Hard to say. Sometimes it can be commonly held values (i.e. primary colours appeal to many), generally appealing subject matter (there are a LOT of horse lovers), or similar prior indoctrination (education). But I may like a piece for different reasons than you, yet we both appreciate it. So perhaps mass appeal has something to do with an ability to speak in a broad language that says different things to different people?

  2. my kind of contemplations , some artist make crappy art and still sell their stuff; if you are connected to the right people,(galleries) school etc. you might get away with it, only time will tell or you are 4 years old make crappy messy things and parents are ambitious you mite get away with that too.
    spending long or short time in a piece – no matter it has to be you and someone will understand you. It is not enough art education- knowledge in our society .
    Have great day. U.

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