So, after thinking about our discussion in class yesterday, I feel like I didn’t contribute enough. I’m making this extra blog post to talk about something that I’ve been thinking about and that we touched on a little in class. I would also like to share a piece of art that I made that is relevant to class (tangentially).
In class, we talked for a while about if cheese or food in general can be considered art. After thinking about it after class, I’ve come to the conclusion that cheese, food, and most other things are undeniably art. Ultimately art is experiential. We look at a painting or listen to a piece of music or watch a play and experience the art. The experience engenders some kind of emotion in us. A painting makes us happy, a piece of music makes us sad, drama excites us, in every case, the actual “work of art” is less important than what it makes us feel. A painting, after all, is just pigments on a canvas, nothing about that is particularly special. Viewing the painting and experiencing how it can affect us is what makes it art. A Rothko painting is just squares on canvas, but it becomes more when we view it because it makes us feel.
Cheese is the same. It is elevated to art because eating cheese is an experience. It can evoke feelings just by tasting it or looking at it. It is art because it can make us feel something. Yes, at the end of the day it is just calories that we put in our mouth, but the experience of putting it in our mouth and what that can make us feel makes cheese art. Cheese took Kessler to a pretty emotional state and, to me, that makes it art.
Now, for something slightly less serious, this is a fingerpainted cave painting of a reindeer I made while working with a kindergarten class in Christiansburg. Before you criticize its poor quality you should know that a roomful of kindergarteners have already told me everything that is wrong with it. Among their observations were: it doesn’t have enough antlers, its legs aren’t long enough, it’s tail isn’t big enough, reindeer aren’t red, it’s to skinny, it’s to fat, and so on. With that in mind, I humbly submit my masterpiece for your viewing pleasure.
I like your painting a lot. I’m sorry that it was received so badly by critics.
Now, to be more serious: Do you think that Kessler was moved emotionally by cheese because he knew what went into it? I would argue that food can be art only if it invokes emotions in people other than the creator. Truly, the most interesting thing about art, to me, is the fact that people can get meaning out of a work of art that the creator may have never intended. A work of art becomes something that is independent of the creator. However, I still agree with you and think that, even including these parameters, food can still be art.