A personal note before the article. I find a lot of the public finds this statement true. Many times folks I have had in workshops come with the idea, "I can do that" but find there is a little more involved to creative work.
Any comments on the statement, I can do that?
Here's Why You Should Stop Saying 'I Could Do That' About Art
As in, "Hey, what's with that piece of conceptual art. I don't get it. Like, I could do that."
Posted: 09/04/2015 01:00 PM EDT | Edited: 09/04/2015 02:33 PM EDT
I was reminded of this quote after watching a recent episode of "The Art Assignment," a weekly PBS Digital Studios production hosted by curator Sarah Green (whose husband is -- yes -- YA lit darling and sometimes "Art Assignment" co-host John Green). In the wonderful series, she visits working artists throughout the U.S. and solicits assignments that viewers can complete from home. Think of it as a "3-2-1 Contact" for artistically-inclined adults.
In a video posted last month, Green tackled the storied art phrase, "I could do that." As in, "Hey, what's with that piece of conceptual art. I don't get it. Like, I could do that." We've probably all heard it. Hell, we might have said it ourselves. But instead of dismissing the quirk as a tired reaction only amateurs would dare to utter, Green attempts to investigate exactly why this phrase is a less-than-helpful way to digest art.
Let's break it down. You're looking at a piece of art. You're entertaining the idea that you could have made said artwork, and therefore that lessens the value of the work or delegitimizes its claim to being art at all. What can be made of this stalemate? Green has a few suggestions.
"Much as we may know that it's not as easy as it looks to create a decent artwork, there are times when we come across something so simple, so unimpressive, and so devoid of technical merit that we just can't help believing we could have done as well or better ourselves," Julian Baggini wrote last year for The Independent. This is not a crime. In fact, it can be a kind of performance in itself; you, staring at an artwork, imagining yourself as the maker. But how far do you go with this hypothetical scenario?
For the answer to this question click below: