Sometimes I see a piece of "artwork," hear a "song," or read a "book," and think to myself, That's just not art/music/literature. There's something wrong with it.
What is your definition of art?
I'll tell you what mine is.
- Art is not art which is meaningless or merely depicts reality. A can of Campbell's soup is not art. Dead silence is not art. In-congruent words typed on a page is not art.
- Art is not art which is merely whatever form an artist's whimsy takes. The free-flowing of artistic passion was not what made da Vinci and Mozart and Shakespeare great.
Art must point to God. This does not mean that its subject matter must be spiritual, but it must point us either to Heaven or to Hell, to the fullness or the absence of God. If it points elsewhere, it points nowhere.
True art lies in self-discipline. Seeing an end and bravely going to meet it.
Art means order and purpose. Without purpose art is a blotched canvas or a discordant jumble of notes or a ruined sheet of paper. If we showcase the world's sores and do not offer to dress them, or call others to dress them, or show them how to dress them, we have failed. Not every story must have a moral, but it must have a point and a hope hidden behind every brush-stroke and note and word.
I am not in the camp that says, "True art and music must conform to a precise mathematical formula or it's rubbish." I chime in with Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, "I know it when I see/hear/read it." As I said at the beginning of this post, I just know.
So what is your threshold for true art? Have you ever considered it?