Monday, July 27, 2009

the elusive question

Why do we make art?????
If anyone has a good answer comment me!!
some of you guys surely do!!!!!


  1. The reason why we make art is because in our Western society, there has been a simultaneous discouragement from learning creative skills using our hands, and an encouragement to specialise in services.

    This is for the purpose that, lacking the skills to make things, we buy goods and services as advertised instead. The specialisation of contemporary economies is for the purpose of providing the services to be bought.

    The proliferation of artists in recent decades is a product of both the specialisation imperative and our immense wealth by comparison with previous societies.

    Our economic model dictates that creative professionals are necessary to fulfil society's needs for creative products.

    Our society's immense wealth provides enough resources to support artistic activities which neither create more resources nor increase the speed at which capital flows.

    We are now witnessing the painful end of the period of history where our civilisation has been plundering the finances and resources of future generations for our own economic growth. This will spell the end of the professional artist. So enjoy while it lasts!

  2. Well i can't answer that question, but I can pose another one that I am struggling with that might help expand the argument; Can art make any real social change or ar we just making art for other artists?... This question, oh I tells ya...

  3. thats a VERY good point ian.

    i think the only social change art can make is draw the upper echelons of societies eyes on a particular topic/ideology etc

    for me art is for the artist.

  4. wow...ive a lot to say now! But im not sure how to put it, ill give it a go, but may have to clarify what i mean at a later stage. I agree completely with ArtWlof (as always!!!) that the art is for the artist. we, as artists and as a society are just lucky if somebody else finds something in it for them too. Therefore Thereisnosuchthingasirishart, id have to say that I think art can affect society individually and therefore on a small or large scale, but personally id worry that to make work with that intention may be to the detriment of the work. im not quite sure how to explain well why i believe that. As a result I kind of disagree with ian. Its not that I think hes wrong as such, its just that I dont think he answers the question of why artists make art, because the reply appears to me to come from the point of view of society and not that of the artist. In answer to my own origianl question Id have to steal ArtWolfs answer and say that for me the best reason to make art is for the artist, possibly with the hope that someone else might also have a good experience because of it. The next big question for me is how do we decide the dfference between good art and bad???

  5. By the way, thanks everyone for replying...i really enjoy thrashing out these ideas!!!!

  6. i want to kidnap ian and keep him in limerick and not let him out until he sorts through our collective existential and emotional crises.

  7. after much time this question has resurfaced in my mind and seems to need rethinking! Art for the artist may not be as solid a plan as I once thought! Im beginning to worry that art for the artist is maybe not sucha good idea in that it could perhaps turn the art-making process into a kind of thrapy. I dont know if thats such a bad thing, but personally Im not mad about the idea.
    Perhaps its simply a problem of language; if i use the word exploration istead of therapy maybe I can begin to find a reason to make art after all. What if art is an exploration the artist undertakes and then re-presents for an audience. Is this ok? Im not sure.
    A friend today suggested that art is all about seeing something with fresh eyes...could he be on to something? Sometimes I think art should do more than that, sometimes I think thats doing too much!
    Another aspect of the 'why make art' question Im dealing with is always the viewer. It must be directed at a viewer right? Otherwise whats the point? But if its directed at a viewer does it automatically loose something? actually maybe it doesnt, if the artist can be honest anyway. And aware of the role they allow the audience play.
    So....why will I make art? Well initially because Im in college and I have to if I want to pass, and then maybe I wont at all, or maybe Ill make it because I cant not, or maybe, just maybe, Ill make it because of some weird symbiotic relationship I have with an anonymous public! I guess its like good literature and cinema- its entertaining, enlightening and thought-provoking.
    (did I take it too far? !!!)