THE INTRIGUING BLUR OF FUZZY EDGES by Gary John Gresl
(All that separates Fine Art from Anything Else is a viewer's decision)
Art and Craft...
Art Western and Art Alien...
Art Objects and Natural History..
Art Regions and Art Earth...
Art and Antiques...
Art Commercial and Art Fine...
Art and Technology...
Art and Everyday Objects...
What is acceptable as we define Art? In retrospect, it does seem remarkable.
In 1950, as the Abstract Expressionists were emerging in public consciousness,
there would have still been little argument or controversy over questions
such as: Where does art begin and craft end? What constitutes fine art
from less fine "art"? Furthermore, does "acculturation"
only apply to Western influence on other cultures, or does it apply to
other cultures upon us? Rules? Talk to Picasso, Kandinsky and Duchamp
Are there any distinct edges to what once were considered separate "disciplines"
like sociology, art history, folk culture, primitive art, natural history,
technology and mathematics? Can any human pursuit rise to the level of
an art form, and do we recognize that areas of human activity and interest
indeed blend together...erasing barriers and arbitrary distinctions? Where
do terms and activities rigidly interface or smoothly integrate?
Studying the history of art over the centuries, particularly since the
late 19th Century, one might be led to the belief that rules and conventions
hold back progress in art expression. The individual artist is at the
center of the art making, and it is the artist who stretches the boundaries
of what art can be. I question whether or not there are rules at all,
or merely success derived from convincing arguments, publicity and good
Most importantly, we can individually define Art, determine what it
can embrace, set boundaries of our own, and give it some important meaning
in our personal lives. We are supposed to have the freedom to express
political observation and belief as well as to explore our individuality.
The important language for expression for some of us is visual media...with
few or no restrictions on what is said or how it is stated.
This freedom of expression, and the right to nibble away at edges, is
what may draw many of us to the use of Art in our lives. You and I can
delight in new personal discoveries, in eliminating boundaries and combining
meanings. Art expression gives us the opportunity and means to expand
our minds, to find satisfaction, to release emotions...to ground ourselves...and
maybe take a few others with us. We can question and then break rules.
Sometimes that blurry edge is just what we need in order to see things