The Dogma Of Pure Art
A really frustrating idea by Wright Williams
Art is meaningless. As are meanings. Meanings are meaningless. The world isn’t black and white, it is gray. And it isn’t just GRAY it is shades of gray - both cool and warm - that melt and fluctuate and lighten and darken for infinity. Except for one thing, and that is Art. And that is the subject of this manifesto.
It is obnoxious because I understand that what I say within this, cough cough - ** sip tea ** - ahem, manifesto, is that Art is the only thing in the world that can and must be properly classified.
You cannot put a name on love, love is fluid. Gender is fluid. Existence is a moist riverbed that floods and dries daily. Art however can only be Art, or not-Art. Once it becomes not-Art it is very hard to make back into Art.
Right now you are crossing your arms and wiggling your hips and going, ‘Come now, get on with this.’ and I will and I am. Right now.
Art is by its definition a creative work. But that definition is old and out-dated. Art has come a long way. Art defined by the dictionary is ‘the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects - or the aesthetic object itself’.
That is wrong. Consciousness does not define art.
Intent, or even more importantly, lack of intent, does.
This manifesto (I promise to stop using that word…) is a new definition of art and what to do with the gunk left behind when we have figured out what isn’t art and what is.
For the purpose of this…..new definition…. Let us forget the word Art as we usually would use it. In this case now Art becomes three separate things:
Let me explain.
Our original historic definition of art - coupled with the reality that art can be accidental and non-conscious - is Pure Art. Pure Art can be comics, literature, paintings, sculptures, dance, cave scribblings, graffiti, tattoos, music, noise, performance pieces, accidentally funny shaped rocks, gorgeous found rusted objects. It is almost endless.
Pure Art is unadulterated by the world - it exists as it was meant to, or not meant to. It is just the object, the act, the song, the word, the way. It is Pure.
It is Pure because it has not yet been influenced by the ONE thing that can influence Pure Art and make it no longer be Pure Art -
Money is the Influencer. Money ruins everything - yes - but it also decides what is Pure Art or something else.
The Something Else - this is what fits into the two other categories listed above. Craft or Advertising.
Craft is the act or product that is a creative or accidentally-creative work. A Craft can be a sculpture, a painting, a song, an album, shit smeared on a canvas, a doodle of Bart Simpson. The only thing that can turn Pure Art into Craft is money. Whenever Pure Art is made for the sale of itself it becomes Craft. This is where it gets tricky.
If an Artist is working in their studio and they are painting a beautiful piece - with no intent to sell it - they are making Pure Art, The moment they change the color of the sky or the smile of a portrait so that it will sell more quickly, it becomes Craft. It becomes Craft because the Influencer, Money, has entered the picture.
The moment Money appears, it tints and taints the work and it loses its status as Pure Art.
When you write a song or a play and you practice it and perform it to people it is Pure Art - but the moment you require tickets or a purchase to listen to it - it becomes craft.
Carving a beautiful Elephant out of wood? Pure Art.
Selling that beautiful Elephant? Craft.
Painting in your studio at all hours of the night to satisfy an itch? Pure Art.
Painting in your studio at all hours of the night to satisfy a quote of work to maintain a studio stipend? Craft.
Our equation here is simple:
Pure Art + Receiving Money = Craft
Unless we use that art to promote someone or something, because then it becomes our next definition...
Advertising is Pure Art that has been created or reused to promote someone or something in return for the Influencer, Money. Art donated to a charity for their use is Pure Art - until that art is used to raise money for that charity. Then it is Advertising.
Painted a gorgeous work about Donald Trump? Great, that is Pure Art. Giving it to a local library to auction off? You have magically transformed that Pure Art into a new form, Advertising.
Draw a gorgeous picture of Chloë Grace Moretz eating a very mushroomy pizza for the cover of a magazine?
Getting a paid gig performing your songs to drive traffic to an event?
That is Advertising.
The key here to remember is:
Pure Art + Money To Promote Something = Advertising
Let us recap.
Pure Art = Anything created, found, performed, or existing that is there simply for the aesthetic or non-aesthetic creativity or lack of it exudes.
Craft = That same creative work, but done so in exchange for money, for itself.
Advertising = That same creative work, done so in exchange for money, to promote someone or something else.
Your big question now may be
‘........Okay, so……..what? Why does this matter?’
And that is a very good question.
I don’t know the answer to that yet.
Maybe you can help me.