Hitting The High Road: Art for Art’s Sake

For This SongWe’ve all heard the phrase…
”Art for Art’s Sake” …
But really , what does that mean?
Recently, in a conversation with my daughter , {who is an assistant professor at a university, and a very creative artist]she and I talked about how her professors label different artwork as “High art” and “Low art.”
My understanding of these terms was that “low art” was work that was considered primitive…meaning the artist has no artistic degree or training but just paints however they can… {think Grandma Moses} so high art” must mean you have an art degree, or have had professional training. So who is it that decides if your art is “high or low”? Museums? Professors? The commercial art galleries? The lady down the street?
I am pretty cynical of this sort of labeling . I just want to create because I like too…not because I have a certification that says I can.
Robert Henri said …. “Don’t worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to.“
The death of originality comes when an artist is forced into some sort of mold by galleries, publishers, or collectors. [Thomas Kincaid is an example of an artist who burned out because of commercial pressure to keep painting the same things over and over again.]
Artists are naturally curious, and they love to experiment. They are always on the look out for new subjects or techniques, can’t wait to make a mess somewhere, and will paint on everything or anything . They try things out just to see what it “looks” like… Can it be that creating “art… for art’s sake ,[and no other reason], is the “highest” art of all?

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