Artistic merit is both individual and common consensus

Artistic merit; what is it?

Art is simply a name for some object, act, or portrayal in any form that entertains us. Thus what constitutes art is very subjective, however there is what we call common consensus. It is this that we base our value of art on.

To give a work artistic merit, we simply determine how much it entertains us! That seems fine for performing or audio visual motion picture art, but what about writing and fine arts!

How does art entertain us?

That which induces enjoyable emotions in us at our leisure can be considered as having artistic merit. Two ways to induce emotions within us are via sensory stimulus, or cognitive thought.

So there you have it! Artistic merit is determined by either human cognitive psychology, or impact on one or more sensors. The greater the “wow factor”, the more we are impacted! As we are all of human psychology, we can form a common consensus, however within our genus, we are individual and that gives us differences, creating and underlying layer of subjectiveness to this common consensus.

Artistic merit is thus derived by how much we are cognitively entertained and/or moved through sensory stimulation. When it comes to fine art we can be entertained emotionally through visual stimulation and cognitively by interpretation of what is being portrayed by an image. We can also be entertained cognitively by the skill and craftsmanship put into producing the works.

In fine art, drawings and paintings can exhibit all three properties for artistic merit. In photography one layer of assessment “the craftsmanship of rendering images to pictures” is taken over by technology, so is seldom considered in assessment of artistic merit. However the artistic merit of the image is still as assessable as drawn and painted fine art.

Common consensus is that technology produces pictures and sculptures that are often more visually appealing because they hit closer to home in reality, but lose the cognitive factor of craftsmanship appreciation. This makes it difficult to judge overall artistic merit as a single group and the biggest reason for sub genres within the fine arts genre of all arts.

If you are an artist, you are in the business of entertaining. To determine how much artistic merit is given to your works you must exhibit them widely. Opinions will be very subjective, so until you have exhibited sufficiently enough to form a popular consensus, you should keep exhibiting your works.

Written by Gavin Lardner © 2012.
(You may share this in social and educational groups).

Artistic merit is both individual and common consensus


Tugun, Australia

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Artist's Description

A cognitive look at artistic merit in anything and how it is derived.

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