Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Is bad art fraudulent art?

Time Out New York's David Cote on that subject.

"Art" is a huge word. Does it connote that something is of high quality -- or, for that matter, of any quality? My cat can call himself an artist. What does that word even mean?

The suck of it all is that someone can put their heart and soul into a performance, a book, a painting -- and it can still, well, suck.

Hence comes talent.

Talent comes from that place that's indefinable. It can be honed, for sure, but I really think it's there or not. It's pretty unfair, but it's (to my subjective mind) a fact.

So who are the frauds? Totally another post altogether.

I work my ass off to make a good show. I want people to applaud because they feel it, not out of politesse. That's part of why I'm looking forward to having a New York audience. San Francisco audiences are very kind -- almost too much so. It's hard to gauge how you're doing, because they want to like you, and they want you to feel good, and somehow the truth gets a little muddled.

I'm not looking for tomatoes to be tossed at my head, but if I'm a fraud, please, call me on it.

1 comment:

-W said...

I tried reading David Cote's piece, which was very interesting, but all I could think of was, Holy Crap. This is way too high-minded for me. And a little too obsessive about the notion of "fraud."

I'd say that fraud has a lot to do with motive, or intent. But bad art isn't necessarily fraudulent. For example, I've seen a lot of bad bands. Hell, I was in one. We could've cared less about money. I felt -- and I think my bandmates felt -- we were getting out of ourselves something that needed getting out. I'm sure more than a few folks thought we sucked, yet told us we were great. I don't think that made us frauds.

OK, the guy who was out to get laid, maybe he was a little bit of a fraud. But still.

Maybe good art is a reflection of the soul. More than the sum of its parts. And maybe fraudulent art is a cheapening of that ideal, whether it's art that's truly done for money or some other base need. If you put it all out there, though, you're very unlikely to be a fraud. Possibly good, possibly bad... but dishonest? Nah.