Blog: Art’s Oxymoron

Christine Alfery

Posted on May 14 2018

Blog: Art’s Oxymoron

Featured image: Coy in the Pond

Should the values we give to art be subjective or objective?

Not an easy question to answer.

For many of my blog posts lately I have argued for the artists self – the individual to be in a work of art in order for the creative object to be valued and treasured and defined as “art.” It is the one thing most creatives agree on when it comes to valuing and understanding if an object is “art” or not. That makes the major value of “art” subjective.

In the art playground “moral” subjectivity has come to play. We see more and more content with moral ethical subjective answers, solutions as to how we should think and feel about “something” including “art.”

For me this an oxymoron, how can an artist allow their own personal subjectivity to be in their work and at the tell others how to morally behave and feel? It just doesn’t and cannot work for me and still be valued as art. Perhaps it becomes an oxymoron because I think of life should be a work of art and to have another’s values and morals and ethical constructs enter into my artwork just doesn’t work.

So what happens to this new player on the playground? If the new player is powerful the others players swinging on swings, bouncing on teeter-totters are bullied into submission – BUT if the rule of uniqueness and individual subjectivity reigns that the field players each have a role, and are welcome in the field. I refuse to submit to the new collective players – I value my life and my work. I refuse to submit to how they want me to think and yet at the same time I can play collaboratively with them as long as they don’t try and destroy my creative self.

As to what should rise to the top in the playground of the arts – To love what you do, to love others who are on the same playground play without force seems to me to be a powerful, moral compass to follow in the arts. It allows for subjective freedom and for living a life as a creative.

To follow:
What do do with the oxymora of subjectivism and objectivism in when it comes to finding values in art?

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