Thursday, March 25, 2010

On the Topic of Art

Everyone, autistics included, likes at least one type of art, whether they know that it's art or not. People usually think of art only being visual, like the paintings you see in museums. That is art, but that's not the only type of art. Webster defines art as "fine arts", and their definition of fine art is "art (as painting, sculpture, or music) concerned primarily with the creation of beautiful objects." So, what you hear on the radio could be considered art, too. Maybe I have a broader definition than most, but I also think that movies, video games, comic strips, and even writing could be considered types of art. Seriously, it takes a lot of effort to write a good novel, make people laugh every day, make a playable video game, or entertain people for two hours.
In fact, I've always had a broad definition of art, which got me into a lot of trouble in elementary school art class. I always wanted to put speech bubbles into my "artwork." (I say that in quotes because I never have been able to draw very well; probably my lack of coordination causes that, although there are plenty of perfectly coordinated people who can't draw.) However, my art teachers had a strict "no words, no letters" policy. I don't blame them; it was my fault, because I didn't know how to make my art "speak" without putting words in it. Pretty much all the visual art I grew up with had words in it, like a comic strip or children's novel, and/or moved and made noise, like a computer game or cartoon. I just didn't get how to make art without using words.
Everyone has types of art (visual and non-visual) they do or don't like. For example, I at least somewhat like most genres of music, but I cannot stand hardcore metal like P.O.D. It's the same with everyone. I'm not sure why, but there used to be an ad campaign about eight years ago or so that said, "Art. Ask for more." The only parts of the commercial I remember is some girl turning her parents' car radio from pop music to news, and the same girl handing her father a book titled Zoning and Variances: Volume XVI (or something like that) and saying, "Read me this one, Daddy." Truth be told, that probably is how some autistics are. The things that most people like--music, movies, TV, etc.--autistics hate. I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of current television (aside from American Idol), but I still like some shows. I also like several movies that were box office smashes, like the Star Wars movies, and songs of all different genres, a good part of which you can hear on most popular radio stations. That makes me at least somewhat normal. In the past, well before that ad campaign, I hated music and wasn't too big on movies. It wasn't until I heard dc talk's Supernatural album and started going to the theater more often that I began to like those things. I wonder if that aforementioned ad campaign was supposed to combat some problem. If it was, I never knew anyone besides myself that had it.
There will always be a debate over what is and isn't art. I have my own views about what art is, but I'm not going to sit there and debate with someone who disagrees with me on that topic. It's like that old sports debate: everyone agrees that football, basketball, baseball and such are sports, but some people say that things like bowling or even band/orchestra are sports, while others disagree. I couldn't care less about sports at all, so I have no opinion; I'll just let them debate. It's like they say: Art is in the eye of the beholder. You like the kind of art you like, and I'll like the kind of art I like. Fair enough, right?

1 comment:

Roger said...

Sports can be a form of art as well. If you have ever witnessed a perfectly completed pass in football, or a perfectly run race in track, or a perfectly hit ball in (basketball, baseball, golf, etc) it is a thing of beauty and art...however fleeting and short lived. Art truly is in the eye of the beholder.