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What really is art?


There are many definitions for “art” and “the arts”. I’ve participated in more than 100 “Arts & Crafts Festivals”, and I’ve been surprised, embarrassed and agitated at the “art” I’ve seen.

In Ohio, a woman had gone to her fencerow, pulled up some weeds and grass, let it dry, then tied a pretty ribbon around a handful. She sold everything she had for $1 each. Another woman at the same festival had some small white marshmallows in plastic sandwich bags, with a sign on them “Snowman Poop”. She also sold out — $1 each.

At an art show, there were pictures on the wall. I looked and said to myself, “They’ve displayed some kindergarten drawings.” The cheapest one was $135 and a grown woman painted them.

A man took a piece of barn wood, glued on pieces of broken glass and barbed wire, and sold it for $65. Is this art?

At a recent festival, a woman brought in an old gate, mostly rotted away, with some plastic flowers tied to it. Other items she had were an old water bucket shot full of holes, with plastic flowers and other things she called “art”. She got mad and left the show early, because no one would buy her old gate for $125 or the old bucket for $50.

A man at a show in Virginia had many pieces of driftwood, some large, some small. They weren’t even painted. The sign said “God’s Art”, and they were priced at $135 to $450 each.

People are getting ridiculous with their “art”. A guy in Somerset has a car — decorated with hundreds of small toys and whatnots glued to it. It’s completely covered with them. They won’t make him stop driving it, because that’s “art”. If he ever hits someone, he’ll skin them alive.

I traveled several times with the Air Force Art Collection, all over the United States. These original paintings were done by men who belonged to the American Association of Artists. In Oklahoma, after the show was over, we were loading the paintings back into the truck when another group of local artists were setting up their work. One said to me, “Where did this junk come from?”

At another local festival, a table had books, key chains, ashtrays, wall hangings, and other items, and every one had the “F” word on them. I asked the sponsor to make them leave, but she said “That’s art”. That’s not art. That’s filth.

At the Honey Festival in Jackson, it started raining. I pulled out a box of umbrellas and started selling them. A lady who was set up beside me tried to get me thrown out of the show because I wasn’t selling “art”.

Go buy yourself an artist’s canvas. Get about 12 small cans of paint, and put a stripe of paint from each can on the canvas. Fleck it with gold paint, or put on some glitter. Put a price tag of $200 on it, and someone will buy your “art”.

A commend trend today is for young women to have a tattoo put across the small of their back and call it “art”. Don’t they know that when they get my age, that tattoo will drift down to the back of their knees?

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