Art and Music: TOK Day

There were some questions raised during TOK Day that were a bit… weird. Many of them were subjective questions like “What is good art and what is bad art?” One cannot define good art and bad art. For example, I would say that the Mona Lisa is not half as good as the piece of art that I picked in the exhibition. Why?

Well, lets begin with: I judge pieces of art and music based on the purpose. What does the Mona Lisa do? It smiles back… Great… So? Perhaps it is merely a form of entertainment for enthusiasts? In which case that would make art less important than other fields (e.g. science). On the other hand, the picture in the exhibition is sending an important message to the viewer. There is climate change, the earth is warming, sea levels are rising, and time is running out. It combines so many contemporary issues together with the melting earth, the fire, and the clock in the background. One might argue that the Mona Lisa is a symbol of mystery, of the renaissance. True, but not contemporary, and more importantly, so? I’m not living in the Renaissance era.

Another flaw is that people seem to think paintings by famous artists are better than the ones by amateurs. That is simply biased. Amateurs can be as good, if not better than the famous artists before them. After all, the amateurs of today will be the experts of tomorrow. For civilisation to advance, the amateurs of today must become experts that are better than experts of the past.

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