The Most Important Thing I learned in Art College

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… is that the fuel on which it runs is a kind of delusional arrogance. It’s the belief that both the world and people’s perceptions need to be changed, and the best way to do it is through nonsense art, nonsense words, and nonsense clothes.

via A Photo Student, story in the Telegraph.

There Are 13 Comments On This Article.

  1. Interesting article. I think those white students with dreads were at my college as well. But they made a 1000 lbs plaster ball. good read, danka.

  2. Thanks Rob – I enjoyed reading this. It seems that your quoted posts typically lead to some good reading. I am grateful that after all these years, I have never had to grow dreads, dress weird, or come up with empty statements to justify my work. I think it is becoming easier and easier for the discerning buyer or editor to separate the real creators/real artists from the wannabees. It is becoming easier to look beyond the distracting and sometimes entertaining nuances surrounding art and commerce (the nonsense art, nonsense words and nonsense clothes). Thankfully, the signal to noise ratio is always changing :)

  3. When I was in college it was the same experience, though coloured hair and wannabe musicians posing as artists were more the norm, though that was eleven years ago. It was even more surprising to see people in painting classes that had no idea how to paint, and barely any idea how to draw. How did they expect to further any creative profession, or accomplish a degree, when they had zero prior experience?

    My last year was 1998, and we had some working artists and commercial artists come to SDSU to speak to us. All of them stated how there were vastly more failures than successes; more graduates left creative professions than stayed. The claim was that within 5 years there would be less than 10% of any of us graduating then still doing any creative work. We all scoffed at the idea, but time has proven those statements correct.

    • wow, u r a dick. people join painting classes to learn how to paint, not because they’re already masters. the purpose of attending any school is to learn. I think the problem with art these days is pompous asses like yourself who are blind to the fact that art is relative only to an individual’s idea of art. If someone believe’s they are creating art, then they are. it’s that simple. you don’t need roger ebert’s approval. stop with the holier-than-thou bullshit and start having some respect for your fellow man/artist.

      • P.S., you’re a photographer and you’re dogging people for being “wannabe” artists, while you steal all of your art from your surroundings. shameful.

        • Harsh dose of reality for you Matt, of the people I graduated with at SDSU in 1998, only 14 of us still have creative professions. That’s barely half of the size of one average art class while I was there. Interestingly, the ones who are left as creative professionals have been drawing, painting, or creating all their lives. Do you seriously think someone is going to make it as a creative professional simply because they got a degree?

          As for my artistic abilities, I have exhibited my paintings, Polaroid works, and photos at numerous galleries and juried exhibits. I even have one of my works at a museum. Perhaps you can fault me for not making a living solely as a painter, but your last comment is a dig on all photographers.

  4. it reminds me of the joke about the pupil in a woodwork class, and the teacher comes up and sees he has made what looks like a very nice pair of handles.

    “Very nice, but what is it, Smith?”

    “It’s a portable, sir.”

    “A portable what, Smith?”

    “I don’t know yet, sir, I’ve only made the handles.”

  5. allright people at art school sometimes suck. Well a lot of people in there twens and twentys actually do.

    But what the hell is wrong with the “belief that both the world and people’s perceptions need to be changed”? Does this really sound so bad? Changing your perception – itsnt that what life is about what actually every discipline – science, politics, literature, art etc wants to do and is supposed to be doing.

    Its really strange to me that this goes uncriticized at a blog where creatives are reading.

    • @doktor, I don’t think many people would argue with the first part of the sentence. It’s the attachment of the latter part that both makes it describe modern art schools in particular, and describes what’s wrong with them.