Friday, April 21, 2017

What is considered good art, or quality art?

I got asked this question this morning so I thought I'd post it here.


I am looking at artists like Theodore Bradley or Niclas Castello for example that mimic that idea of Jean Michel Basquiat. What about those two artists is it that people say that they have great art?

I know a lot about Basquiat but I wasn’t aware of the other two artists you mentioned so I googled them. I must say I’m not very impressed with either of them in terms of my own opinion. But it is just an opinion. So let me support my ideas and opinions with my rationale.

What makes Basquiat a very good artist are several things which include the physical form, the ideas in the art, and his placement in the context of the art world in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Basquiat_self-portrait_1982
In terms of his ideas first, Basquiat was working with a lot of art historical notions such as the Gestalt or collective unconscious. He combined words images texts and even a little bit of contemporary culture in his art along with some biographical notions of who he was as a black man living in the United States. Some of the stuff has political overtones some of it is just stream of consciousness. However, the way he introduced his art to the public or the context that surrounds him is one of the things that created his acceptance and popularity in the art world.

When Basquiat came on the art scene he’d already been living in New York for most of his life and was really part of the New York avant-garde. He introduced the majority of his work by making it public art as a form of graffiti that was very different from the other graffiti writers and artists of the same time. He also hung out in New York with people who were already known as important people in the art scene. All of that combined with the physical qualities of his work made him and his work popular.

The physical qualities of his work really tie in with a lot of art historical ideas starting with the abstract expressionists in action painters like Pollock and deKooning. He experimented with found objects and with nontraditional art materials very much like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. He wasn’t interested in traditional drawing skills and he also wasn’t interested in traditional representation in terms of art history from the 19th century and earlier. He embraced his awkward drawing skills and his improvisational use of art materials.



I don’t think that many artists have been able to establish a reputation by a mimicking or emulating other artists without being very unique.Theodore Bradley is really mimicking Basquiat in his personal appearance and some of his content and symbols but they are really not good paintings because he is trying to draw almost realistically but doesn’t have the skill, and also unable to commit to the abstraction that Basquiat did.


Theodore Bradley   Google Search


Niclas Castello Almost seems like he is mimicking Jeff Koons and Jasper Johns. However, I don’t think he is well-known because he’s almost like a third-generation copy of the pop art movement.

Niclas Castello   Google Search

Of course, all of the stuff above is just my opinion based on some things that I know about art history and the art world.