“Even my child can paint like that!”
You’ve heard this phrase before, perhaps with parents eyeing awkwardly at a painting by practicing artist with over 20 years of professional experience at a prestigious gallery space – adorned with professional lighting and an environment that usually exuberant of a subtle sense of elitism. Though, is it wrong for the parents to think this way? What with how art is usually consumed and taught through basic education?
See, art is usually taught to kids at an elementary level. As such, they, we, consume art predominantly with the intent of reading art as a visual vehicle. Visual communication and aesthetical qualities that provide a “feeling” formost, rather than direct intent or something more intangible – like concepts or ideas. At least, this has been the rather larger majority of the population. If parents, adults, and the everyday man feel that their art is “just as good” as these painting by artists with years of experience behind them, then what is today’s barrier of entry to be an artist?
Being an artist is a profession, much like anyone else, you can self proclaim – and though I detest calling art purely a taste and test in “subjectivity”, how do we then define our ‘barrier of entry’? Can the everyday single mum who makes beautiful cakes at home for sale not be considered one? Or is the everyday painter who makes not a single cent an “artist” purely by the way we’ve come to accept the typecast image of the artist?