Blog: Authenticity In Art

Christine Alfery

Posted on August 17 2017

Searching for Life's Tiny Treasures by Christine Alfery

Featured image: Searching for Life's Precious Jewels

Artists stylize reality. Artists take the metaphysical, something that can never be anything other than what it is, water is water, flowing water in a creek, trees, trees moving in the wind, sun rising, sun setting are all examples of the metaphysical. Artists isolate what is important to them and they stress that importance in their work. Their work is hand-made, their work if it is authentic, stresses the truths, the values the artist holds. Art can be judged by the authenticity of the artist, the viewer recognizes this authenticity in the work and relates to it in one way or another, positively or negatively.

Artists who create work from a subjective state such as I feel, I wish, I believe, these mystical beliefs have nothing for their work to be judged on. It is impossible, because it is an I feel state and is subjective

Should art be judged? There is really no escape from making choices in art, and judging art, if we don’t make choices, if we don’t judge, we leave a blank check to those who wish to dominate art and make it what they want to make it. The subjective state is an excellent example of this, how many times have you heard, when someone looks at a work of art, “art can be anything I see in it?” The I in that quote is important as it is again subjective. And it makes art nothing. To not judge art is offensive and does not give credit to work that truly can be called “art.”

Make no mistake, the illusion of freedom that goes along with “art can be anything I see in it” is just that, an illusion. There is a sense of freedom because the work created came from the subjective mind of the artist and the viewer.  If the work remains in that state and never becomes a solid conceptual reality, then the work can never be called a work of art. The concept of art cannot be stuck in subjective neutrality. Art cannot be neutral, there is value in art, to abstain from judgment of a work of art is to encourage all things visual to be value neutral, and if it is value neutral then it is nothing at all.

What are some objective values that can define art – fairly? True, feelings and senses are all a part of what art is, they are not all that art is. The values I use to define a work as art and not visual design, display are: authenticity, uniqueness, originality, technical skills and truth be they representational or

Authenticity/uniqueness/originality. The artist's perceptions, senses. It originates from the artist. It captures the artist's sense of life, the artist's values, not the values of another, or of a group of another’s. It does not simulate another’s ideas and call it their own because it had a different author/creator. The work stylizes reality. The style is the artist's own and belongs to no other, the idea is the artist's own, it belongs to no other.

For a work to be truthful it recognizes what has been identified, concepts have already been created, that acknowledge a reality. The work cannot be all subjective mystical based on wishes and beliefs, it also needs to be objective based on ideas and concepts. The artist can no longer leave their thoughts at the sensational, perceptual level when they are creating, they need to develop their thoughts into concepts that relate and integrate with other concepts so they can be something and so others can come to know it also. Artists and those who are art junkies need to bear the responsibility for how art is understood and known.

More Posts