Is art really subjective?  The simple answer is; maybe.  That was helpful, right.  Is your grandchild’s finger painting hanging on your fridge beautiful?  Someone not close to the artist would say no.  But, if you frame it properly, hang it on a wall and light it it certainly looks like an artist did it.  And then, if you tell a fantastic story about it this painting could be a masterpiece.  Who am I to say it isn’t.  Picasso used to sign menus in restaurants to get free meals and his signature was worth a lot of money and the story told by the owners was probably worth even more.

This is your home we’re talking about so your art becomes a matter of taste and style.  I know people who are addicted to collecting art from obscure places and every time I go to their home I spend a great deal of time looking at it.  It’s wonderful!  The frames are beautiful and room comes to life.

Nowadays, there are so many things that we seem to perceive as “beautiful”. Each orange sunset, every raindrop, even a framed B&W photo of an old tractor get’s oooooh’s and aaaahhs.

Our perceptions of beauty within humans may differ significantly on an individual basis, but nature and the non-living world seem to evoke a consistent flow of admiration, despite their variations. But is their beauty subjective.  I don’t know.

BukowskiWhat about poetry.  I have a friend who beautifully framed a Charles Bukowski poem and hung it on her wall.  I read the poem a few times and didn’t understand why this poem was important enough to hang on a wall and a conversation about that soon started.  To be honest I never understood the attraction to Bukowski but I guess it takes all kinds to make an imperfect world.

I met a genius on the train


about 6 years old,

he sat beside me

and as the train

ran down along the coast

we came to the ocean

and then he looked at me

and said,

it’s not pretty.

it was the first time I’d



Crickets, crickets …. Bukowski is saying that all things have a subjectivity to them, even things perceived as beautiful by everyone.

I’ve heard it countless times, people refusing to draw or paint just because they’re “not good at it” or can only draw stick figures; but does that devalue their work any?  Once again, look at Picasso.  Most people don’t get him but every art knowledgeable person in the world will agree that he was a genius.  He could paint like Raphael when he was eight years old.

Art is a creative visual expression meant to express the soul of the artist, or at least that’s how it should be.  I have an artist friend who once told me that he was asked by someone to paint a picture to match some pillows on their couch.  I burst out laughing at his response.

Art comes in many forms whether subjective or not.  Architecture, photography, design, basket weaving, you name it.  But can you beautify a room with it?  Sure!  I’ve heard people who are so skilled at public speaking they turned that skill into an art form.  Now I don’t think you can hang that on a wall but I sure appreciate it when I hear it.  What about music?  Fill your room with beautiful sound and watch what happens to your guests.

So, where are we?  I would say we’re back to square one where whatever you think is beautiful and you love it, put it out there.  It may or may not be a form but who cares.