Saturday, November 8, 2008

Guggenheim, and why I'm not an artist.

We finally made it to the Guggenheim. For future reference the permanent collection is lovely but very small, so your experience beyond the fabulous architecture is dependent on the other exhibits.

There were parts of the Catherine Opie exhibit we both loved... the architecture, freeway, some of the mini malls, and by far my favorite was the Icehouses and the Surfers. (A warning: most of you will not want to explore beyond those mentioned above.)

I had spent the last few days thinking about why I don't consider what I do art, or myself an artist. I had to decide if it was because I really wasn't an artist, or if my definition of art was too narrow to allow myself to consider my creative outlets art.

I've concluded that my definition of art is too narrow to include my products in it.

I know how to work an SLR camera, I know how to manipulate and use light, I don't use any of the "auto" functions in photo shop, and usually only use photoshop to resize my photos. But I don't do anything beyond framing and exposing, and if I did more composition I might be able to include my photography in my definition of art. I think I am a great snap shooter, and I think I have a pretty good eye. The point of all of this is I think I consider photography too easy to be art, at least the photography that I do.

And my knitting, which I do as a creative outlet, I consider a craft, maybe even a "folk art," but it is a far cry from my definition of art. I don't think I will ever consider scrapbooking an art, no matter how dependent on design it is. And, I don't think I have been spending enough time on writing to consider that an art.

Basically my definition of art is narrow because I think it should be challenging. I think if it comes easy to someone they should have to spend a lot of time on it for it to be art. I think if someone can create art quickly it should take a lot of problem solving and mental challenges to be considered art.

And maybe I have this definition because I am afraid to call myself an artist, as to not offend the people I really consider to be artists. And maybe its so I don't have to consider every one who considers themselves an artist actually an artist.


emilysuze said...

You are most definitely an artist. The things you do with photos, yarn, lace, and food are amazing and well worth the recognition.

So broaden your definition young lady! :)

hanner said...

Agreed with the above comment!

Also, Robbie and I just went to hear Brian Kershisnik speak at the MOA yesterday, and even he was talking about how he doesn't deserve the kind of recognition he gets for his art.

I understand he was being humble, but REALLY, Brian Kershisnik???

Embrace the talents and title proudly. You deserve it!

Mindy said...

I thought it was funny at the end of the video clip when the two older people looked embarrassed at the breastfeeding woman picture...Like they couldn't even look. So maybe you're an artist if you can stir emotion or make someone uncomfortable? Next time you're in MN you should take pictures of ice houses (unless that's copyrighted).

Tammy Lorna said...

Oh Brecken - you're one of the most wonderfuly creative people that I know, and I definately mean that in the President Uchtdorf way :) I think the most memorable moment of that whole wonderful talk was when he explained that being creative meant that you could 'create something that wasn't there before', and then added that putting the smile on another person's face is an expression of creativity.

I think art's a little like that. It's about expressing yourself and creating beauty where these was no beauty before - and you've got that down.

And seriously, don't belittle the photo taking thing - believe me, it's not that 'easy' for all of us! Despite all of my 'training' and 'daily experience', I'm a terrible photo taker! I have a secret goal to one day get a nice camera and dedicate myself to really learning (for once and for all) how to take the kind of pictures that you take! But for me, I suspect, it will take a bit of work! I'm a better critic than I am an artist - but you're a natural artist :)

Keep going - I'm looking foward to your next project/s :)

xo Tammy

PS. I've caught up on my other comments...

Tara said...

You should look at the photos that I take and that are posted on my blog. That's as good as I can do! After seeing that, I think you will agree that your photography skills put in in the artist category!