“I’m too uncultured to enjoy art”: Who is art for?

I’ll admit it: I’m basic. I fall asleep at Mozart’s concertos but stand in line for hours to see Taylor Swift; I’d choose a Ryan Gosling chick-flick over a French noir film, and my four-year-old niece’s drawing over Pollock’s any day. I know – it’s embarrassing, but it’s true. Art is not for me.

But who is art for then? Probably that person who chose every option I didn’t in the list above. He probably also wears turtle-necks and has a bottle of chardonnay ready at all times. There’s nothing wrong with such a person, of course, but should art really be reserved only for these cultural elites? Why does there even have to be a divide between high culture and popular culture? After all, art is that which is beautiful, and there’s certainly beauty in a bunch of teenagers singing along to Taylor Swift, celebrating friendship, youth and life. Art is that which is good, and I really don’t see how an evening of self-care with Gosling and pint of ice-cream could be any evil. Art is that which is true. That four-year-old’s drawing may not be “true” art to you, but just one look at her proud dad will show you that that piece truly is art.     

I wish it could be said to the everyman on the street that ‘if it’s truly beautiful for you, it is true beauty’. I wish it could be said for all of us that ‘Beauty is truth, truth Beauty’ (yes, I’ve quoted from Keats and no, a basic girl can love poetry too). But the unfortunate reality is that Keats had been speaking to a Grecian urn when he said that beauty is the whole truth of your existence. After all, that urn was an artefact who only existed to shine its beauty within that gallery—and for those select gallery-viewers, I might add. I think, though, that it’s time we brought down those walls. It’s time we took that Grecian urn out for a spin. It’s time we brought art to the streets, don’t you think?


This post is published by Aestheletic: We bring paintings from our gallery to the streets as aesthetic fashion.