Saturday, February 19, 2005

The difference between art quilts and everything else

As a card carrying art quilter I feel that art quilts are a step away from the traditional bed quilt, in that they are meant to hang on the wall. This is an opinion. It is an opinion shared by all my girlfriends, thus proving its inherent truthfulness.

If an art piece hangs on the wall, it means that we aren’t interested in it being sturdy or washable. We don’t care if stuff is glued on. We don’t care if some of the materials involved in its construction don’t actually fall into the category of fabric. We don’t care about much except that it is ART.

So what is ART?

Art is something made by an artist, who knows what art is when she makes it, so don’t argue. If I say it’s art, then it is art. I am an artist and I have a stinkin’ diploma around here somewhere to prove it.

However there is a difference between good art and bad art. It is possible to make bad art even if you are a good artist. Sometimes you mean to make it bad, just for the fun of it. When you have bad-art-making-intentions, the finished product is then called tongue-in-cheek or satirical, thus making even the bad art, good art! Some people with good taste love the bad art, knowing it was made with a wink and a nudge. Some people with bad taste love the bad art because they don’t know any better and have no understanding of the perversity of the artist and her superior attitude to the people with the bad taste.

Sometimes the artist makes an artwork that is ugly. This means that the artist is not afraid of criticism. This means that the artist knows how to express herself more about life or pain or struggle than the average non-artist person. (note to self:
Manolo the Shoeblogger is creeping into your writing voice).
This also means that the artist does not care that she is losing the audience’s interest and soon the only ones looking at her art are failed art history majors now employed by dull and boring art journals.
Thus the artist will die happy knowing that her art will be force fed to graduate art students and be the subject of some tiresome cocktail discussions between people who are trying to impress others as erudite, educated snobs, a very sad seduction effort.
But really, who gives a shit about ugly art? Only those who want to look like they know something that you don’t. And we all know that those people know nothing, but are easily tricked by the artist who is cunning enough to make ugly art. She is a smarty.

In the end, all the art is ending up being good. Even sweet sugary little quilts with hearts on them. Wink wink, nudge nudge.