SINKIEWICZ: Art is about creating new, unique worlds
Opinions Column: People And ...
The other day I was sitting on my bed pretending I was a philosophy major and decided to contemplate art. I looked briefly at the posters surrounding my wall, and upon noticing the meager collection, decided it would be more suitable for me to head over to the fine institution that is the Zimmerli Art Museum.
As I entered the museum I was surrounded by art — I couldn’t tell if this was something that I enjoyed or not. Being an expression of one’s self, art is meant to either bring attention to an issue or to be a reflection of personal issues. But then again, art is what people make of it. I could drop an ice cream cone on the floor, name it “Desperation” and have some people perceive it as a work of art. Of course this lacks creativity and vision, according to some critics. But what if it was prescribed meaning? After all, isn’t art a reflective artifice — subjective in a sense, not objectively regulated?
I watched other people looking at the art, looking at each other, looking at a sandwich they were about to consume. Upon examining this, I began to wonder, "Is this part of the art?" This isn’t an attempt to grapple with some meta-performance artist hogwash, but genuine curiosity ... If I stare at people staring at art, is that art? I wonder if anyone is staring at me and wondering the same thing. Am I art to someone, maybe a weird form of abstractionism? Simultaneously, I love it. It explores and expands boundaries set by humankind. In fact, we respect art as part of our culture so much that artists are some of the most underpaid people in the world. Some people think this is an injustice, but without it, the starved artist motif dies.
To be quite honest, the stuffed artist or the obese artist just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Even the diction surrounding the art is art itself. If you’re still reading this article at this point, I applaud you, for you have just sat through a few moments of a random thought process from a stranger whom you likely don’t know, nor care to know. But that’s a beautiful thing. Newspapers are a medium (no, not The Medium, this is The Daily Targum, we don’t talk about them) for artistic expression.
Maybe you were piqued by the title of this column. "People and…" People and what? Well that’s the thing. Three little dots can raise a lot of curiosity. Why? What do three dots mean? What is the cliffhanger? Why, it’s art of course! Life is art and love is art. Or is art love? Both. The thing is no matter what happens, art is constantly used to explain phenomena. It’s like science but less boring and more open to interpretation. In fact my entire story about going to the Zimmerli was completely fictitious. It was a fictitious story, but it was still riveting. There was drama, love, suspense … Of course there were none of these things, but from an artist's perspective, I’ve created a world. That’s what art is really about.
Expression and reflection, these art byproducts of what an artist is actually seeking to do and that is to capture part of the world or to present their own version of it. Art addresses problems that other conventional means simply cannot do. It captures moments in history. As photographs begin to take over and conventional art becomes less and less appreciated, it becomes even more important to recognize this.
So go out and make some art every now and then, even if it is something as simple as dropping an ice cream cone on the floor, though I do believe that would be a waste of a good ice cream.
Zachary Sinkiewicz is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in English and history with a minor in political science. His column, "People and ..." runs on alternate Mondays.
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