Can a Work of Art Have Value Regardless of Who Creates It? Can, and Should, We Look Past the Character of the Artist - However Immoral We Consider Them to Be - and Simply Experience and Esteem the Work Itself?

Topics: Aesthetics, Art, Morality Pages: 5 (2015 words) Published: May 29, 2008
Can a work of art have value regardless of who creates it? Can, and should, we look past the character of the artist - however immoral we consider them to be - and simply experience and esteem the work itself?

Art is such a simple word, consisting of just three letters, and yet it takes ceaseless flows of discussions, arguments, debates and theories just on the very definition of it. So what is just so important about this creative field? We have to acknowledge that life would be infinitely dull without art and that we would possibly live solely on cerebral methods. Therefore, art is something that develops us to be more thoughtful and well-rounded humans. The value of an art is difficult to be determined. A mother may see the doodles and drawings of her little son as art of very high value, but a stranger who has no connections with the family might view them as mere childish scribbles with a value equivalent to rubbish. Therefore, can a work of art have value regardless of who creates it? Possibly, but the values vary. We can see from the situation mentioned earlier that emotion plays a role in determining a work of art. The mother thinks that the 'artworks' by her child are of great value and treasures them since there are sentimental attachments in them. And so if a work of art is to be judged by its sentimental value, the emotion that one feels toward the creator of the artwork would influence how valuable it is.

There are several criteria which determines the value of an artwork. Apart from sentimental value, there is also the monetary value as well. There are cases where an artwork, although not that sentimentally or aesthetically valuable nor is it original, has been sold for huge sums of money, sometimes to an incredulous amount. Tracey Emmin's work, My Bed, is one of these cases. Her artwork which consists of an unmade bed with packets of condoms and a bottle of vodka next to it was exhibited at the Turner Prize exhibition in London in 1999; and her masterpiece was sold for £150,000 to the collector Charles Saatchi. Is her art valuable because it was worth a lot of money? Is it worth that much of money because it was admitted into the exhibition? Or was it because of Emmin being recognized as an artist?

The word 'artist' itself states the profession as well as the fact that she is acknowledged as one experienced enough in the ways of art to be called an artist. Does the value of an art get higher if it is created by a veteran artist than the value of art produced by a novice, or even, one who does not opt art as profession at all? Maybe so, but there have been those who make a lot of money through the 'art' that they produce even though they were not originally artists. For example, there is this one Aboriginal woman, who generally never before produced art, and is a stranger to art and its many techniques and skills. That is until the time when she is quite over the age of seventy and happened to eventually produce a culturally influenced artwork, and it so happened that the artwork was seen to be of high value until it was sold for an amount up to six digits. She certainly did not have any degree whatsoever to certify her as an expert in art, yet the masterpiece that she created sold for a high sum of money.

Some of us might look at an artwork and say that it is not of high value, therefore it is not good art, but later on it baffles us when the artwork turns out to be critically acclaimed as an outstanding art by the qualified judges of art. You will come to wonder how is the piece of art seen through the judges' eyes and why they see it as 'good art'. How do you judge art then? What makes a person qualified as a proclaimed judge of the arts? This is where aesthetics play a role in determining the 'beauty', or value, of an artwork. Since the world is made up of so many cultures rich with their own traditions and...
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