Drinking my morning coffee and reading the local newspaper this morning I was drawn to a caption under a photo of two children decorating Easter eggs. The caption read “Easter Egg Art.” Easter egg art it was explained was the process of exploring different ways to decorate Easter eggs including shaving cream marbling.
I ask, is decorating an Easter egg with shaving cream art? The concept of art has been changing over the years. The concept of art has become so deluded, so watered down, to the point that it has no flavor anymore. What caused this? I suggest that perhaps it has been because of the notion at art can be anything and everything including Easter Egg art , and anyone can become an artist, including small children decorating Easter eggs. I suggest that the meaning behind art is no longer what it used to be.
Art has become a form of decorating. The art want to be artists create Easter egg art. There was a time when creating, note the word here is not decorating, Easter eggs was an art, for that matter, it still is. I am thinking of the beautiful Faberge eggs that open with wonderful creative dioramas of miniature landscapes. The eggs were not created with shaving cream but shiny enamels and with real jewels and gold. They sat on crowns of adorned gold, were precious, creative and well crafted. The technique of growing from a child decorating Easter eggs with shaving cream to an adult crafting an egg with precious jewels and gold establishes a foundation for the understanding of what art is and can be.
There is no question that the moms and dads of these children decorating eggs with shaving cream thought perhaps this is what my child will become an artist. The foundations established by making Easter egg art as a child should continue to appreciating the Faberge egg created by a seasoned artist, craftsmen.
I do not wish to diminish the value behind the creative activities of small children decorating Easter eggs, for this is the foundation at establishes a value within these children to appreciate the Fabergé egg later on. These foundations need to be established for art to be art and for art to be valued within our culture. But make no mistake not all things being called art today is art, rather it is craft, it is decoration. The distinction needs to be made or art can just be anything and everything and anyone can be an artist. If that happens, and I believe it currently is happening to the concept of art, then art is nothing.
There needs to be a major distinction, between art and decoration and craft, the learning of a technique; there needs to be a major distinction between artist and craftsmen (person/women). Not everyone is an artist and not everyone creates art.