I would like to go back to visit a very popular question, and often times debate, among the public and art community of “What Is Art” for a few moments. So about now you might ask, “What brought this on?” Well thanks, I’m glad you asked that question.
I am a part of a large email database of artists, gallery owners, art teachers, and art lovers and anything in between, most of us promoting our shows, our art, new projects, events, needs, benefits, jobs and anything else you might think of that artists can bring to this type of arena. And at times there will be rants and discussions, griping and complaining. Today just happened to be one of those times. A fellow artist was a bit offended at the recent article on CBS News she read about someone’s beloved dog, Tillie, painting. Not only was man’s best friend painting, but they were being sought after and sold for as much as $2,200…that’s in dollars, not Scooby Doo snacks as well as being shown in galleries and museums such as Milan, something any artist would drool over whether they walked with two legs or or apparently four. To put the icing on this messy cake, the writer of the article was comparing Tillie’s work to that of Cy Twombly and Jackson Pollock.
As I saw this conversation escalate and grow over the next few hours, I started thinking more about what was actually happening. Although I can understand the frustrations of seeing a dog be compared to some of the greatest artists this world has been introduced to, I began seeing the whole picture of what could possibly be happening and as I thought, I realized that this is just one more example of someone taking art and thinking outside of the box. It’s not so much about a dog’s expressive paintings or brushstrokes and marks as it is about an artist entrepreneur (meaning the owner just to make sure you are keeping things straight) taking Tillie and seeing possibilities where others might just have looked away. Seeing opportunities to do something different and unique that hasn’t been marketed to the public. I see this as just one more performance art piece being orchestrated by an artist and marketing by an artist entrepreneur. I see this as another success story that we can either become jealous, discouraged and frustrated over, or I can see it as a way to re-evaluate the box we are in, become inspired and learn from.