Jay's Reviews > Who Says That's Art? A Commonsense View of the Visual Arts

Who Says That's Art? A Commonsense View of the Visual Arts by Michelle Marder Kamhi
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it was amazing

What is Art? This simple question can cause much hullabaloo among critics, ordinary people, even artists themselves. And the varying definitions of Art have driven the world of art into insanity in the past century. The preeminent proof of this is well observed by the works created by modernists and postmodernists. Many of which are completely asinine contrary to the previous works done by intelligent artists with skills and devotion throughout the history. One would-be-artist, Jeff Koons, took a picture of him and his wife having sex and call that an art work which would have been a pornographic content if done by other people. One so-called sculptor created a figure of a little girl whose eyes are deformed into a male penis. This particular work is displayed and children were encouraged to look at and write about it. There are many other unthinkable examples introduced in this book. Even the definition of art started to include any work that cannot be categorized into something. Kamhi, through this book, screams at those artists and critics who create, allow, even extol this kind of works. Her frustration is well displayed in the book. You will also follow her reasoning and thoughts along with the examples she provides for in this book and wonder what is going on in the world of art? Even without the ridiculous example in the book, you certainly have encountered modern art works and wondered if they were truly art.
While she takes you to this askew artworld of modern times, she also shows great art works done by real artists with skills and ambition. It is regrettable that all those good works are ignored lately. Kamhi blames the entities who are instigating the wrong steps the postmodernists are taking which include art teachers, critics, collectors, trustees, and museum curators. They have made art inaccessible to public. They have their own artworld and create the environment in which whoever does not get their works doesn’t know anything about art. In reality, Art is very natural to humans. Throughout the history of men, people have been drawing and making things for aesthetic purposes and convey feelings and meanings. Every human has an instinct and right to judge the artness of a work. To define only the intelligent can understand their works is very wrong because of the foregoing nature of men. The author pleads with everyone to stop modernism/postmodernism and come back to the art by which we, everybody, can enjoy the aesthetics and be empathetic with the feeling that the creator desired to share.
My knowledge of Art was non-existent before this book. I, like many people, just speculated that art was for certain people who developed specific taste in art. Wrong was I. I cross-referenced every single art work enumerated in the book. Forsooth, art was for everyone, as would a caveman enjoy the Paleolithic cave paintings (cave mural) 17,300 years ago. Reading this book from cover to cover, Not only was I able to explore how postmodernist works are alienated from the public and need fixing, but also well-made art works enrich my life.
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February 18, 2016 – Shelved
February 18, 2016 – Finished Reading

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