Friday, May 22, 2015

Some art philosophizing for a Friday evening

At what point does anyone earn the right to call themselves an artist?

Who is an artist? If you look at Instagram, half the world I presume. Does anyone who can yield a pencil or brush justifiably and legitimately become an "artist" by definition?

Not that I oppose to it. My problem is that by that extremely wide and admirably forgiving definition I am definitely an artist, yet I can never use that word for myself comfortably. It just doesn't fit.

Is what I do really art?

The sheer vagueness of what defines or constitutes art has always been a problem that intrigues me. To me there needs to be that very intangible thing, that very something behind and over the skill that goes into the creation of the work in order to make it "art". But then, does the fact that that something may not be shining through the work itself mean it is not there, that it was not there during the process?

Am I still having too much difficulty peeling off the Romantic layer draped over this issue so long ago?

Does anyone know what art is at this age? Aren't we way past post-structuralism? What happened to art afterwards?

I'm definitely really behind in doing some art history reading, but it begins feel like I've lost sight of the line between the realms of art as it exists and is practiced, and of art history that busies itself with its philosophizing. (Did I invent the term by the way? Is there such a word? If yes, is art-philosophizing out of the realm of art history?)

"Hi everyone. I am artist."

Maybe it is the English language and how the word has come to possess an everyday meaning in it, rather than the grander meaning I associate with it as a non-native speaker. Translate it into Turkish and you get an even grander word that carries tons of worlds within. Just imagining how it would sound if I said I'm an artist in Turkish:

"Merhaba, ben sanatçıyım."

Laughable. Not just me but anyone who'd voice that sentence would sound outright ridiculous or simply overly presumptuous.

So I can minimize my problem to a single question. Artist is obviously a public good term in English. So what is its equivalent in Turkish? Because it is definitely not the word you'd find in the dictionary.

So hi eveyone! I am a drawer.

... At least it's decidedly non-Romantic!

(The less obvious but bigger question must be why this post is in English at all considering its central issue. Believe it or not, my non-existent reader, it is much easier to philosophize in English about these topics. Translate terms into Turkish and it looks/feels alien.)

So I'm done being unable to conjure a solid argument and convince myself for tonight. Until it comes back to nag me some other time..

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