Art and Facebook

Facebook has a new game floating around centered on art. Generally, these are somewhat odd, fairly pointless strings that feel like either personality tests or the get to know you questionnaires or party games no one actually plays. This one is still odd, but interesting both in theme and response. Someone posted an image of an art piece and said anyone whom liked it would be given an artist name. The new person then posts an image of this person’s art with the same promise. I saw it on a few people’s pages but only one actually gave me an artist name when I liked it. The percentage of people on each page playing seems quite low, yet it shows up with a consistency and regularity that says many are limiting play to one person. I am not sure why you would; playing several could give you several new artists you might like. But, maybe the view on art has changed, it certainly seems to. Art is rarely something done just for art’s sake or for passion it seems – every artist wants to make money at it. This is not unreasonable, and is very understandable, but it changes your approach to your art and it changes both who your audience is and how they approach your art. Art is no longer a specialized rare talent to be nurtured and treasured, everyone is encouraged to participate, share, and post it to the world. Does this dilute the form and lower the likelihood of any true masters arising? It would actually seem so, because the approach is so different and it is so much more a business that there is something lost. But more than that, it is the audience and the art world that limits that with their requirements, rules, connections, business, and interpretations. These of course always exited, but can have a very immediate impact today that was unlikely years ago, when masters were often unappreciated until after their deaths. Art as seen through Facebook and social media; Personal lives displayed in public; interpretation of art on first appearances and criteria not truly understood by those using them; judgmental arguments in the public eye and personal attacks based on minutia all impact the changes in art today and in future.

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