Should art reproductions exist or do they degrade what we consider art? This is a question posed in an online artist group I belong to. It becomes a multi-layered discussion that touches on what is art, who should judge what art is, environmental issues of countries reproducing plastic reproductions, and the accessibility of art. Below is my response to this question:
“Thanks for this interesting discussion! What is great about this discussion is that is has us thinking about what art is, and how we (and others) access art on a daily basis.
Yes, little knick-knacks made in China may not seem like art to many of us, but they bring happiness and joy to some people. Why should we police what makes others smile, even if it is considered “junk” by working artists? When we start limiting what is accessible to others because we feel is does not live up to artistic standards, aren’t we acting more like an overly-governed group? Furthermore, if we extend that self-proclaimed legislation and deny others the right to purchase reproductions of artists works, then we only allow the wealthy to experience art. If that were to happen, the middle and lower class would have nothing beautiful in their homes which in turn could very well limit their right to self-expression through how the works they choose to surround themselves with.
I personally think odd little works may help true artists because it brings the idea of art to people who may have never had it in their life before. From there, these folks may learn what it feels like to connect with a piece and want to experience that feeling more. This may inspire them to go to shows, to the museum, to see public art and identify with it, eventually saving to buy their own original work. (BTW- Isn’t this idea of accessible art what Andy Warhol inspired?)”
What do you think art is and do you think there should be someone assigned to making this decision for everyone?