This entry is a continuation of Too Touchy Feely Sometimes.
So there's beauty everywhere, and maybe that's what art is. Not technical skill or talent, but the ability to see the beauty everywhere and in everyone.
If that's the case, then artists are a bunch of hacks; because I think anyone in the right mindset can see that beauty, and communicate it. Maybe it's easier for some people than for others, but the truth is that everyone is capable of this.
But I don't think that's the case. Right now I want, and perhaps need to believe, that there's something special and unique about art. Good art. That it's something special, and not something that everyone can do. That sure makes me an elitist asshole. And at the same time, I realize how that's not effective, because elitist artists do nothing for me, and the truth is, that in practice, I'm not exclusive about my own art. I've had this experience of being a visual artist, by virtue of a studio/portfolio class that I've been in, and I think I've been able to do some pretty cool stuff. But I don't think my work is extordinary. So maybe that's the comfortable work. Everyone can do art, and a lot of it can be really interesting and worthwhile without being the next Van Gogh.
Not to stray too much, but perhaps this is a problem with materialism. In a society where the product is valued so much, it feels sometimes that we're working to make the next thing marketable, better than the last. Take the movie industry, where what would otherwise be an artistic venture, becomes a capitalist venture. This happens in any non-ephemeral art, where there is a hard product produced, and it's another one of those "no solution but a definite problem" kind of situations.
The problem I guess with the normalization of art, is that, it becomes less special and less mystical, and while in general terms I like the idea of demystifying the world, there's defiantly some romantic shred that needs to cling to that notion.
I've said before, that in light of analysis of these "problems" faith, hope, and acceptance are the only reasonable solutions. Frankly, I think that's a really shitty solution. (To my grandmother: the book is on my bedside table, and I promise to take it up next.) So here's what I'm going to replace than answer:
There is something within all of us that claims to our own "side," the belief that art is something special and unique, and so forth. So much that, this is what makes us unique. If we didn't cling to these conceptions, we wouldn't be special.
I know science fiction writers who have had the idea that there is some conceptual limit, an area, when a species figures out the big questions, and gets the answers. After this point, the race becomes reclusive, or "goes beyond," or blinks out of existence, etc. It's a nice idea and I think on some level it makes peace with this very question in a tidy sort of way.
Hell, I'm only seven—eighteen—and I don't need to have this sorted out now. I don't have to have it sorted out in fifty years; I don't need to ever answer this question. Perhaps this is a situation where its' only really important to ask the questions and think about the questions. Answering might be counter productive. That's the truth, as much of a source of frustration as that often is, it's still the truth.