Who is the one who gets to to decide what is and what isn't art? Is it the creator or the viewer who determines whether something qualifies or not?
When something really keeps me thinking, wondering, and asking questions, it's usually a sign that whatever is causing me to ask the questions is worth paying attention to. I was pretty stunned when I first watched this video; the story shared is interesting to treat as a thought exercise, and it really got me thinking about my own photography. Laovaan shares a story about his experience in dealing with these questions in school. Why are some things considered art and other things not? Is there anything wrong with creating work that is intended to be aesthetically pleasing? When it comes to photography, who is the one deciding what is and isn't art?
While Laovaan is sharing his thoughts and experience on the matter, I find myself trying to ask and apply similar questions to the photography world and the work that I follow. I'm wondering about photo contests, the criteria, and the judges. I'm wondering about social media, Instagram, and the image trends that we see time and time again gaining traction and attention. I keep wondering why I'm drawn to the style and aesthetic that I am and what my own creative motivations are.
After you've watched the video, take a moment to think about art, photography, and your own work. Ask yourself tough questions, and take time to think about your answers. Is there anything wrong with creating something that is intended to be aesthetically pleasing? Can something only be considered fine art if there is an abstract emphasis? Does a technical skill add or subtract anything, or is emotional response the only thing that matters?