Saturday, October 20, 2007

On Artistic Expression, part 1

Reading David Thomas' blog post the other day reminded me of some questions I have wrestled with for many years:

  1. Can "Art" exist in a vacuum?
  2. Is a work of art required to appeal to an audience, even if it is only a small one?
  3. Is the artist who is creating solely for their own enjoyment really creating art?

Years ago, my answers to these questions would have been no, yes, and no. However, I'm not sure my motives were pure. At the time, I was trying to be a "rock star," and I was always quick to defend my conscious decision to write "hooks." I also think that deep down inside, I really felt like I was selling out, so I was very defensive.

If you will pardon the pun, I have changed my tune these days. If I am creating purely for my own enjoyment, I still have an audience. It doesn't matter that the artist and the audience are one and the same. An audience of one is still an audience. Furthermore, some art may appeal to a large audience while other art may appeal to only a small, select audience. This does not diminish the artistic quality of either work. Of course, this leads us back to the art vs. commerce debate, but you may refer to my earlier post on the subject.

Please comment - I really want to hear your opinions!


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