Visual Studies 1: Creative Arts Today: Part one: Contemporary Art: Page 23 – Grayson Parry Podcast

Grayson Perry: Playing to The Gallery: 20313: Democracy has bad taste [accessed 17/04/2019]

Grayson Perry, addressing the audience, talks about a variety of different ideas surrounding what is art, and how do we decide if art is good.

He talks about how contemporary art is now seen as mainstream art and how it isn’t just limited these days to an art gallery, it can be found, amongst other places in parks, town centres and even roundabouts. Anyone these days can enjoy art and it is not just limited to a select group of people.

However he brings up the questions. How can we decide if art is good? Who decides and, does it matter?

Art can be judged in a number of ways, this includes its market value, popularity, its historical significance or its aesthetics.

He talks about how there is often a conflict between what is popular and what is good quality. Artists, whose work is popular, may not be seen as good quality art by art experts and other artists.

It is difficult to judge art based on beauty alone, how do we decide beauty? It is a social construct and often determined differently by different people.

Art can also be seen as an investment, and can sometimes be purchased by the rich as a commodity, much like they would buy a yacht or a fast car. Art can go up and down with market values as popularity and fashions change.

In some galleries, art is priced by size, with big pictures being sold for more. But does bigger necessarily mean the art is of better quality?

Who decides how art is valued and what makes good art? This is decided by a number of different groups of people.

Peers – Serious Critics – Dealers – Collectors and The Public.

Artists popular with the public, increase visitor numbers in art shows which ultimately brings more money for the gallery.

Gallery curators are important in bringing art to the public and work is sometimes described as being “of museum quality” it is important for works to end in a gallery as this gets the art work sold.

Ultimately in general terms, art is good if enough of the right people think that is the case.

He finishes his speech with a reminder that you do not have to like it all!

Sculpture from The Dragon’s Lair,
The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset

My Thoughts:

Listening to Grayson Perry I agreed with many of the points he was making.

There are often times I find myself in a gallery and wonder why something is in there, or think how I really do not like a particular style or find it particularly ugly looking. However there must be enough people, other than me to think something is good otherwise it would not be on the wall. This reiterates the point of how art cannot be judged on beauty alone, as beauty is different to everyone.

I remember buying some art  with the money I was given for my 30th birthday. I chose some work by a hobby artist which I found on Etsy and when it arrived I took it to be framed at a gallery. The gallery owner commented on the colours being off in the sky on the one piece. I did not comment and remember thinking to myself that the orange glow in the sky was one of my favourite parts!

I think that art is very personal, and I think it is difficult to pick out art as a gift for someone else unless you know that person very well.

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