It is interesting how just a year or so ago, people were speculating on NFTs (well, now we can be sure it is speculation though it was to some investing); and then today, people are using generative AI to generate tonnes of images and becoming artists themselves. So then, what is art and how do we value them when the computers with the right algorithms can churn out lots of different interesting nice-looking graphics and respond to prompts with interesting and surprising twists?
Art, ultimately is about the impact on others and the manner by which the message or the intent of the artist gets conveyed or put on the audience through the art work. Ultimately, the tangible art piece or the experience (visual, sound, feel, taste, smell) of it is just a manifestation of the ideas that are being expressed by the artist. It always had a value that wasn’t about money but about influence and ideas.
If we are caught up with the prices of art pieces, or the seeming worthlessness of them, then we are probably missing the point. It is also why people find it hard to accept their children embarking on the starving artist journey. And my most artistic friends are often actually teachers or trainers trying to help amateurs or lay person appreciate art. Connecting to the meaning of things in the world where we’ve allowed meaning to be squeezed out of us must continue to be something affordable for all of us. And we all can consider making that connection and contributing something to the ones who continue to help us make sense and meaning of the world.