Who Decides What Is Art?

Who Decides What Is Art?

The other day, I finally got a chance to watch the documentary Finding Vivian Maier. It chronicles the life of photographer Vivian Maier whose work was unknown and unpublished until her death in 2009. Her work, spanning 50 years, is truly impressive. Yet, according to the filmmaker who also discovered her photographs, the "art world" simply turned their backs and rejected her work. Even MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art, turned it down.

Much like fashion, food and film critics, book publishers and record executives, the art world is also full of self-important people who decide what is good and what is bad, what is art and what is not. Of course, we don't have to buy into their shit. I went to a number of exhibits at MoMa which turned out to be a waste of my - and probably everyone else's - time. On the other hand, we entered an age in which commercialization and commodification is destroying music, literature, film and art - The very things that were once touted to replace religion as a source of inspiration. To the contrary, everything is becoming, or has already become, "kitsch".
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