So bad, it’s good

Posted in Art in the world by Adele Todd on May 20, 2009

In the nineteen-eighties that phrase was coined, and it stuck. When I hear it today it sometimes makes me smile, but at other times I cringe. My reaction is extreme because when it comes to art, there is the belief that there is some truth in that statement.

I have seen the public and even students of art retract their opinions of work because they are told that it is famous or prestigious in some way. They shrink back and defer to the speaker. Sometimes this is necessary, as certain types of art in a historical context requires that the viewer understand why it matters.

I am not talking about those times. I refer to people who like and love art. People who have an opinion and when the person who made them feel uncomfortable moves away, they mutter their real feelings to themselves.

I hear more often than I care to recall, that artists are crazy and weird and that art today is shit. Again, like the saying, I have two feelings on that. I get dismayed at times, because so many other professions trawl from the experiences of art and sell these concepts back to the same public that make the negative statements to begin with. It bothers me, so I must look at both arguments.

No one likes their profession denigrated. Art has a big heart, it can take all types of experiences. If it were personified, It would be a good soul. Expression of thought is subjective. Not everyone is going to like what they see. Taste cannot be taught, nor should it be used as a tool to divide, but it is used in this way, and in other ways as well.

Educating yourself about expressions and schools of thought is always good for aesthetic, esoteric, existentialist and other reasons. Yet, at some point, education ends and thinking for yourself begins. As the Psalms said, “when I was a child I spoke as a child, but now that I am a man, I put away childish things.” Some say, I may not understand it, but I can appreciate it. Or I can give it some thought. Others might say, I know what I like and I don’t like that.

Whatever the opinion is, art is made for looking, and for the experiences that come through the maker. The creator needs an audience and the audience needs an experience. Yet to others they will still say, that it’s shit. So let them be.


Chris Ofili: The Virgin Mary
Ofili’s work is made up of paper collage, oil paint, glitter, polyester resin and elephant dung on linen.

*My note….sometimes Art is shit!

Image reference,8543,-10704194503,00.html

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