Brain Babies: What the F*ck is Art?

I have made the joke, more than once, upon seeing a collection of metal scrap, say, on someone’s lawn, that, if a thing has no clear purpose, it must be “art”. I’m a tiny bit ashamed of that now, especially since a great deal of my own output is what many consider to be a lowbrow, crude sort of writing. That’s fine. I’ll own that. I’m not exactly literary. I like to tell stories. There’s no shame in that. Anyway, this got me thinking about art, and how it is interpreted, and how that changes from person to person. Here’s what I came up with.

Art expresses human emotion, or the conveyance of an idea, through a (usually) visual medium.

That’s from the dictionary.

What the hell is art? It’s blood flung at the canvas. It’s sweat and tears and cum. Art is peeling off your face, revealing the bones beneath, exposing your secret fears, laying bare your desire.

Art is a sustained note in a song that tugs your heart hard against your ribs. It’s a painting that makes you cry, for no discernible reason.

It’s Van Gogh’s mad, swirling stars, Janice Joplin’s voice you can almost screw. It’s stumbling through Hell with Bosch. Georgia O’Keeffe’s sweet-smelling vulva in full bloom.

Art is a story you cannot escape, a book so good you wish it would go on forever. Art is scary, and messy, and gorgeous. It’s loud, subversive, and chaotic.

Artists are mad.

They are my favorite people.

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