Friday Question: What is Authentic Art?

Hello everyone,

It’s Friday! Who doesn’t love a Friday? It’s a great day to ponder on meaningful questions, don’t you think? Well guess what, I have one.

I’m endlessly intrigued by how people view the world. I find it simply amazing that we can all have our own ideas and perspectives on the same thing. Who’s to say everyone’s perception of color, sense of hearing, or interpretation of smell is the same? Different people enjoy different genres of music, different styles of writing, different architecture. Our world is so diverse. The same goes for art.

Just like anything in history, art has progressed massively through the ages. The discoveries of man have always been reflected in the arts of every culture. We yearn to express ourselves.


Are those art pieces? (Photo credit: A.Currell)

I cannot say that I am drawn to, or connect with all forms of art. There are songs I hear or paintings I see or poems I read that I simply dislike. I may not connect with the message, or maybe it has the feel of being sloppily made. Perhaps you get the impression that it’s an ordinary piece of ‘artwork’ that in itself has no uniqueness, or any sort of deeper message. I have commonly heard disgust directed toward modern works of art, because they do not follow traditional rules. The price-tag in particular can sometimes be cause enough for outrage.

So here’s my question for you, my readers: What do you think is authentic artwork? What holds meaning, has a powerful message, or is a true work of expression, in your opinion? What is worthy or being called ‘art’?

I’m excited to hear what all of you have to say… happy Friday!



51 thoughts on “Friday Question: What is Authentic Art?

  1. I think you inadvertadely already stated what makes something Art to most people or a piece of garbage…basically if it speaks to you on a personal level in some way. If your mind, spirit, soul, or whatever finds something of value in that piece of work whether it be a poem, a story, music, photo, or a painting then its art….period. Just as perfection is subjective so is art….my cup of tea may not be yours….that’s why we wear different clothes, like different movies, practice different religions , date and marry different people.. we are indviduals and art is an individual pursuit which at the same can have a polariziing effect on us. This is a good thing and a bad thing…it can be ugly or very beautiful and incite different emotions in different people. Authentic Art to me is owned art….if I traced my hand to make a turkey on a piece of paper and decorated it and was proud of it and hung it on my fridge then it authentic art…because it meant something to me….I own that stupid old’s beautiful

  2. I believe that any form of art by a certain person that is not a copy of someone else is art. No matter whether we like it or not doesn’t decide whether something is Art. Art is an original form of expression in creativity. That is if the creator of the work is sincerely attempting so say something in their work. I actually like abstract art. I am not traditional when it comes to art. My personal view is that some recent modern art may be a form of expression but is an ugly attempt at it. It amazes me that people would buy it.
    An example being the “Artwork” of a depiction of Christ that the “Artist” simply pissed on. But even that person was using a form of expression that some think is creative.

    • I somewhat agree with what you are saying. I’m just not sure how original people can continue to be โ€“ many new art forms are combinations of previously created forms. More than that, many art pieces can be considered renderings of older pieces.

      • yeah but even if you do put two ideas together, you still end up with something original. I am not sure of my opinoin of art pieces that are taken from an earlier piece though.

  3. I am so tempted to take a shot at that question. But since I’m married to an artist, I shall refrain from any comments that could prove injurious to my health ๐Ÿ™‚

      • It’s more that simply the ability to create gives us the tools to make something authentic, something real. A person made a Popsicle stick house. Maybe they think the world of that little hut, having put their heart and soul into the construction. Another creates an image, then produces it millions of times, they took the photo in a flash, uploaded and had a company send their prints to customers, all very easy and the like. The image is beautiful, but it is a simulacrum, a copy of a time and place. Out of these who is commercially successful? Probably the photographer, but both artists made something truly authentic and that’s the point.

  4. Well art is expression, being creative and everybody does it in their own style and way. funny enough walking through our Tate Gallery in London, there is some beautiful art work there in my eyes, but also strange things like a rusty pipe… that art, my son asked. Also some pieces which a 5 year old could have done better, just having fun with colours. It is in the eye of the beholder. Someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure…..same with art. Opinions divided which is good so there is always someone who likes a piece of art, even if I don’t.

  5. I think that with art if you aren’t leaving something behind it really isn’t worth it. If you aren’t exposing something that you would rather not show. Something that makes you think that people might not like it or even hate it and it might hurt if they hated it. Not everything people make falls into this category because at the root of it, art should also be fun to create. There is a clear line however between someone revealing their soul and someone revealing their thoughts.

  6. Pingback: Beauty: in the Eye of the Bolder? | myspokenheart

  7. I find myself in the position of the artist and the onlooker at different times. I believe a piece of work is only art if an onlooker sees it as art. Sometimes something as random as a mathematical pattern or as over-thought as a sketch with more erased marks than pencil lines or as ordinary as a person’s handwriting can be translated as art, in my opinion. More times than not, I’ll mistranslate a work to mean a lot to me, when what the artist meant was a message that I don’t resonate with or even don’t agree with. As you can see, this topic means a lot to me.

  8. Art may be subjective but there is a basic level of acceptance to what we can call a brilliant piece. A white washed easel sold for millions of dollars, merely because the blank space spoke to the viewer in ways they cannot comprehend, is not subjective, it is pretentious. Art is a form of self-expression and self-discovery. Most pieces are formed when the artists is in their most emotionally vulnerable or inspired moments, so of course it translate more than just a picture or words to us, especially if we feel we strongly relate to the work.

    The best art is formed when an artist is true to themselves and true to the concept of what constitutes art: they take its formation seriously and not with intention to become a trend-setter of a new form of work that has no effort to it. If art was only intended for the artist alone, then why publish? Simply keep it. If the work leaves the viewer confused, the person who you were trying to have see what you were feeling when you were creating the piece, then what was the reason in publishing?

  9. It seems Art is subjective as music, which is an art, or writing, which is also art. I think there are gradations of art, and for me I include untrained artists, and folk artists equal to the Monets and Warhols. Artists describe our world in a new way. Authentic art speaks of the artist and to the viewer/reader.

  10. ” I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writting looks and the way you feel.” _ Unknown
    Art is everywhere. As Andy Warhol said: “Art is what you can get away with”. Simple as that.

    If you like a painting or not, for example, that’s another story.

  11. Authentic: “of undisputed origin, genuine, made in the traditional or original way, true, real, veritable, not false or copied, having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence, authenticated, verified, worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact, conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features, made or done the same way as an original, not false or imitation, true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, accurate, made to be or look just like an original, being really what it seems to be”.

    This cluster of definitions from a net search implies a value judgement about individual originality being good, yet also suggests an inherent contradiction: “made in the traditional OR original way”, for example, suggests that individual original and traditional community-supported creation are BOTH authentic, though they might be considered opposites. Since the early 20th century, when Marcel Duchamp and other Dada artists began to question the value of originality, Western art has kicked this question around. Artists like Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons simply carry on with this debate. The 300 years of previous Western art practice can be seen as an aberration in which artists felt the need to highlight their personal role, encouraged by changing social circumstances and by the disappearance of community support or patronage, and by the need to sell their work to make a living.

    Radical thinkers – structuralists, situationists – have gone on to question the construction of meaning, an even thornier issue. Currently, while there does not seem to be strong consensus, it does appear that individual creation is becoming more highly valued than traditional work – look at the emergence of Chinese fine artists on the international market. Individual artists are creating work with self-defined attempts at meaning, and publicising them wherever their target buying and appreciating public can construct agreed meaning and assign authenticity in a free market. Though there can also be a black market in art meaning. Like ‘art’, ‘authentic art’ is in the eye of the beholder.

  12. This should be my field, but even with the education, it’s not something I could really go in depth on.
    While there are some who might be declared as masters in their field (if you want to roll names such as Michelangelo, DaVinci, Blake, Van Gogh to Warhol, Picasso, Pollock to Drew Struzan, Neal Adams, Alex Ross, Norman Rockwell, Charles Schulz, Frank Cho – and so many many more in various other fields), it really comes down to appealing to the individual, no matter what the museums, libraries (not just books) or auction houses might actually say.
    So what could be thought of as ‘authentic art’ might simply be viewed as the works that have, in one way or another, touched the observer enough to evoke or provoke a reaction, be it emotional, physical or spiritual. It could be something that would inspire one to emulate (at first) or create, or move one simply to posses.

  13. I used to be endlessly torn between the ‘purposes’ of art. Should it be art for art’s sake, or should it be meaningful. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s really all about what the individual wants. I personally have come to choose art that gives me positive energy, be it a piece of writing, film, music, a picture or painting.

  14. I think art is what someone feels, his imagination. I think art is something original and should be. No one should copy. Some of the modern artwork is so pointless- to me- because it does not have a meaning its just a blob or just a picture of a gas station…I think some people who make modern art have someone who can get them in , or maybe the media praises it to start a new business so people can come to look at it and pay money to buy.

    I think that when you look at art it should come out of its frame and go deep inside you, awaken different dimensions.

    Thank you,

    • Yeah, wow, I definitely agree.

      The only thing I would dispute with you is why something like a gas station cannot hold meaning โ€“ perhaps it was painted because it is ugly and represents that destruction our earth, or perhaps it was painted because it is a place we all know, and most rely on whether we like it or not. It could have a million different meanings. Those are my thoughts at least.

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