Society is constantly trying to categorize art: good vs. bad, high vs. not so high…etc. Work of Art, a new tv show on Bravo is attempting to find through weekly assignments the “next big artist”. Art schools admit high school age students based on what they consider “good” art and where they see potential. What makes an artist “big” though? And what makes art “good”? Controversy? Talent? Genius?
I am thinking about these questions because people often ask me to list for them the “best” art I have ever seen come in to be framed.
(Uh, well…Back in Princeton, we framed a limited edition Picasso print. I mean. That was pretty cool… but the best…?)
But what does “best” even mean? Sometimes, I think the “best” art I have ever seen is what I would least expect. That, and add a combination of cleverness and craft.
Get this: Blueprint drawings of female on female action. Yes. Exactly. Portraits of the two women who brought them in, all tied up around each other on blue print paper. Included was text, in blueprint-like font, labeling the poses: “The Screwdriver.” The “Table Saw Twist.” And paragraphs describing where these positions work best and why. The art was both well crafted and a amusing. All I could say to the women was, “Those would look great in framed in a thin sliver metal frame. No mat.”
And the second best thing I have seen came with an interesting experience. The artwork was a life size, detailed, realistic pencil drawing of a male’s back side with his legs up in the air. Everything out there. Hanging. It seemed he was reluctant to ask for help because of the subject matter and I could tell he was getting frustrated with something. I insisted and helped him clean out the schmutz from underneath the glass. Our faces were right up against his behind, in the drawing that is, as we stared looking for specks of dust. Yes. That really happened.
So maybe the best art is something that highlights the owners’ character. Art provides amazing insight into people and their personality and style. That is what I love about what I do—I see it all.