What Annoys Me

It is so easy to describe the many aspects that I really love about art, but what annoys me about it is something I’ve never thought about before. I have always regarded art in the highest esteem and proudly called myself an artist. So then what could I possibly say negatively about it?

Despite all the positives of art, nothing is perfect. Art especially, is not perfect. And yet that in itself is something positive too because it makes the creation unique and human. It requires a certain capacity of the viewer to appreciate it for its oddness. However, some artists take this concept too far. My old English teacher in high school always told her students that “if we don’t like a book, we must not say ‘I do not like this book.’ Instead, we must say ‘I am not ready to appreciate this work.’” That’s all good and well, up to a point. When artists start taking photos of dead dogs and piss and claim it to be a bold statement that others don’t appreciate, that’s where I think we’ve crossed the line. Artistry requires good taste as much as shock value; and the lack thereof is one thing that annoys me about certain works of art.

Good taste goes further than choosing what is appropriate and what is crude. It can determine an artist’s style and genre. Unfortunately in the eyes of my old English teacher, I was never able to appreciate Louisa May Alcott or Jane Austen, simply because the style of writing was so utterly dull and not captivating. Part of the purpose of art is to convey a message; so how will that be possible if the medium is such a turn off? The inability of some works to attract an audience and, more importantly, to maintain an audience is what annoys me about art.

Clearly the audience is essential for making the success of a work possible. But some works honestly don’t deserve the credit that they have gotten. Art has become all about pomp and the artist’s superiority complex; people try too hard to be artsy to make an impression and this, I believe, has taken a toll on the true value and transparency of art. It ought to be made for a higher purpose, yes, but it doesn’t need to advertise itself so egotistically as something noble to be admired. A lot of Renaissance and Romantic paintings are like this, particularly the more religious ones.

As for film, what annoys me the most is inconsistency. So what if you have a bunch of cool shots, one after another? How do they relate to one another? Why am I watching this unexplained, nonsensical stream of images? Every single image that goes onto the big screen is going to mean something, or try to mean something, to the audience. Therefore, a filmmaker’s awareness of what it is he is showing us is essential to focusing on the message, or whatever it is that ties everything together. Similarly, the success of a work is entirely dependent on its conclusion. A good clincher at the end can suddenly turn a mediocre film into a spectacular one. Films such as Inception (2010) that leave the ending open to interpretation or just leave the audience hanging do not satisfy the viewer’s desire to be profoundly affected. Thus, poorly crafted transitions and especially endings are what annoy me about film.

The list of things that annoy me about art apparently goes on and on, contrary to what I had originally thought. Yet I am finding that most of these things are faults of the artist, not necessarily of the art itself. So in a sense, the artist’s process of creating the art is what annoys me. But then again, the process of creation is exactly the best part for an artist.

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