Good and Bad Art has over the years formed a moniker often when describing art. I suppose it easier to simply say if you like the work you see and if you don’t. so, then what really is ‘good art’ and bad?
Honestly if you ask me there is no bad art. For art is an expression, a perception, a thought, an idea, a story, a journey, a beginning, an end. Art is love, sorrow, jealousy and joy. Art is passion and hatred and abhorrence or disbelief. Art pushes your boundaries and tests you, dares you to think and entices you to dip your feet and taste a bit of this chaotic, maddening journey. So, would you still call Art Bad?
The question then I pose to you is, which I gather is the right question to ask is what makes an Artist a master in his craft. What is it that you look for when you buy an artwork that hints at a master in time to come. I look at the following five:
Flow of the artwork - Where does the artist begin his work on the canvas, I see that. How my eye moves through the artwork, is it smooth, choppy, disconcerting. Ends abruptly or loops to another flow of paint. To me looking at an artwork is like watching the sea and its waves. Its mesmerizing the ebb and flow. An art work needs to speak to you, needs to flow to you. Where do your eyes follows? That’s the beginning.
Consistency - A master in his craft will always have consistency. Do not mistake stability with consistency. When I speak of consistency I talk of a level of craft and technique that keeps getting better with each work or then you see the magic and skill in each stroke in each work. An artist will have his/her period of instability and madness that is his expression that he throws to his work, but within that madness and chaos so to speak is a consistency of skill and technique and that shines through each time.
Provenance - What, where and how has the artist studied, his body of works, his beginning. His skill set. All very integral in deciding why you want to own this artist work. What makes this artist tick, what was he thinking, what period was he going through when he made this work. You should have a list of ready questions to ask your curator, art consultant, artist before you think of owning the work.
Uniqueness - what gap does this artwork fill in my life. Why do you buy or collect Art? To my way of thinking it is to fill a vacuum that yawn for beauty or pain. Both of which you can achieve with ART. Thus, the question you ask is; does this artist fill that vacuum. If the answer is yes then go for it.
The second look - has it ever happened to you, when you find something beautiful you always turn to have a second and even a third look and if you can you look closer. A master is defined by how much closer you feel the need to look at the work. An artist who knows his craft will win your heart with the sheer simplicity and beauty of his skill. That second look is the cincher.