East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Opinion: This is not art

The image you see above is not art. Do you know why it isn’t art? Is it the style or is it because it looks bad? It’s actually not what you think it is.

There will be art professors who would straight up say to their students that their work is not art. They would criticize them that it isn’t abstract enough, it doesn’t have meaning, or it doesn’t clearly convey who they are as a person. They say all these things, but really what they want to say is that it isn’t art because it won’t sell well in the “art world.”

Think about it. You wouldn’t see the image above in art galleries, would you? That is simply because that no rich person would want to hang it their wall. That’s understandable, right? I mean, I wouldn’t frame this and mount it proudly in my living room. But despite that, I still think that the image is art. It is art because I think it’s art.

Professors who tell their students that their work isn’t art, should stop doing this. It could crush a young artist’s dream and they would feel worthless because they were told that they’re not good at the one thing they know how to do.

Art in the professor’s eyes could be whatever is making profit in the art world. Lately it’s been abstract art.

Abstract art could literally be anything. It can range from one stroke of paint or just a bunch of random colors on a canvas. You know, the art that looks like a 5-year-old could do. That’s abstract art.

To some people abstract art isn’t art because it’s just a bunch of paint on a canvas, but for some reason, art like that could sell for millions of dollars. A painting called “White Center” by Rothko was sold for $72 million. Why would some rich person be willing to pay for it for such a price? I’ll give you a hint, it has nothing to with what it looks like.

The painting used to belong to a very rich and powerful person, Rockefeller. They had this huge skyscraper called the Rockefeller Center. On the 56th floor, there was an art collection purchased by Rockefeller and one of those art pieces was “White Center.” Eventually it was found and sold to a bid where someone paid for it for $72 million. The person who purchased it didn’t care about how it looked, all they cared about was the history behind it.

Because of this, art professors tell their students to do abstract because they think it’ll be very profitable. They tell them the art they’re passionate about is not art and discourage them to pursue further. I think the professors who think this way are wrong.

Art is subjective, if one person thinks that a piece is art then it is art. It’s not what a rich person would pay $72 million for and it’s not something you find in an art gallery. Art teachers should stop discouraging their students like this, they need to let them do something they love.

If young artists are always being let down because of this, they’ll want to give up. They’ll be lost because art is the only thing they know how to do. The world wouldn’t be so beautiful anymore if talent like that goes to waste.

If they’re really so worried about their students not being successful in art, then they should try giving out constructive criticism, not destructive. If more professors are more optimistic and open-minded, students would feel more reassured about themselves. They would have more confidence in their art and they’ll be more happier. The more artists there are in the world, the more colorful it will be.