art | ugallery's "what makes good art?"

while working in galleries, i've been asked one question over and over. the same question, in different ways...at times more hostile than others!

is this supposed to be art?
how is this art?
if this is art, i could do this!
my five year old daughter could do this type of art...
how is this considered art?
what makes good art??

and before today i've always given really general, optimistic answers -
"art can be anything you want it to be!" (anyone seen r. mutt's urinal??)
"some pieces are less about representation and more about colour or shape or line"
"i'm sure your daughter could create something similar, you should have her give it a shot because kids love art!"

but now it seems i have a valid answer to the question. when the folks from ugallery first sent me this link i was actually a bit scandalized! "what makes good art" is a highbrow question that floats around the art world but nobody really has the guts to answer it. except for ugallery that is. in this article on their website, they use various pieces of visual art (mostly paintings) and discuss what makes them "good" or "worthy." you'll notice that there are no over arching themes, but rather they've expressed the general properties and exceptional qualities of each - providing the pieces with their own unique validity. i'm including one of my favourites here because it's hard to explain why abstract art is great...but they've hit the nail on the head! (i also discuss it in the first chapters of my e-course).

p.s. and props to the team for first stating "if you love a piece, you love a piece." because truly, that is what really matters!


  1. Really interesting! I used to hate abstract art up until a year and a half ago, and now I'm in love with it. Go figure! I really like the part about the movement throughout a piece.

  2. I think that a lot of artists go through the same process as they create, but perhaps not so consciously. We're constantly thinking about what "looks right" and a lot of that has to do with composition, colour and contrast. It's nice to see the ideas clearly articulated.


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