Creativity, Greece, Musings, Travel

Who decides what ART is?

After hours of wandering the streets around Athens and away from the more touristy parts of the city.  We opted to have a long leisurely lunch, enjoying scrumptious fresh food in a side street cafe.  Which was a great find amongst decrepit buildings, solely decorated with different forms of art.  With music from Led Zeppelin, “Stairway to Heaven”, playing in the background.  It gave our experience an even more quirky kick to it.

As I glanced around, I thought “what is ART”?  

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Who decides what is acceptable for society to view?

I personally love art, most forms of it excite me though I totally do not “get” tag Graffiti. We hadn’t come across too much of it while travelling, well, this was before we came to Athens.  Many of the city streets are adorned from top to toe in it.  Take it away, and you have disused buildings that scream with neglect.  With Graffiti, they have colour, energy and can initiate robust conversation.

Then there is the other type of street art, that one that some would say requires more artistic skill.  With this in mind, I shall let you decide with the following photographs of “ART”, I have captured while wandering the streets of Athens.

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We came across this Art Gallery on our first night, this gentleman who was a friend of the artist decides to play a tune for us.  Music while viewing art.

Wonderful and priceless!


48 thoughts on “Who decides what ART is?”

  1. Some great comments on this Sue…I adore street art even more than formal framed pictures although my father has some lovely ones…This tagging is not art in my eyes and I agree with the analogy about the tomcat it is like a marking of territory.Now the hands I love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here in Grenoble we have a very liberal, green mayor who refuses to allow any chemicals to be used in cleaning the city and therefore the Graffiti taggers rule. I hate it. My number 3 (of 4) daughter stayed with me in early summer and patiently (read slightly condescendingly to the old mum) explained what it is about. I do understand but my response to her is that it is akin to a peeing tomcat marking his territory and I doubted that she would like to live with that stench under her nose. Street Art, real street art be it legal or illegal, I love. But the other is nothing short of vandalism, in my view. I really enjoyed your pictures and accompanying script, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really loved the image of the hand on the building and the verse/Haiku. They really resonated with me and thanks for sharing. I have seen some fantastic street art on my blogging travels. Much of it resonates in a way that much framed art does not. There’s such a freedom to it, as it isn’t bordered in my a frame or the bounds of the canvas.
    I thought I might just mention that while I’m reading and writing on your blog, I have an 8 week old Border collie x kelpie pup sprawled upside down across my lap, with his right paw dangling over the mouse. This is Isaac Newton, known as Zac. We’ve gone inot pup fostering but will be keeping him.
    Hope you’ve had a geat weekend.
    xx Rowena

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  4. A beautiful mural in Glasgow was recently covered in tagging – that’s disrespectful, especially as the mural commemorated a local woman who had done an enormous amount for the community. They added “F*ck art” so I assume from that even they didn’t think what they did was art!

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  5. This post is definitely on a topic that’s close to our hearts! We love street art, and we love that it’s developed into its own genre. And although some tags can be less attractive, I find there’s usually something that can be appreciated: a message or an expression of self-identity. I think the only time I’m less enthused is when artists tag over someone else’s intricate work – that seems a touch disrespectful.

    But regardless, you found some real gems here, Suz! Particularly love the one with the hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn, I definitely think there is a difference between street art and tagging. This is where it becomes a definite division between people’s perception of what art is 🙂 I do not enjoy viewing tagging, as their intention is to destroy buildings of historical interest and people’s private property. Most street art usually compliments an area and creates interest. As with the hands on the wall. So we will have to agree to disagree 🙂 Which is fine as that is why I wrote this post to get myself and others opinions on “What is ART?”.

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  6. I’m not a fan of the scribbly words and graffiti, but I do appreciate street art. A boating friend of mine actually introduced me to it in Auckland, NZ a couple of years ago. Some amazing pieces of art were spread out over the city. It was one of those things I handn’t paid attention to previously and now, I notice it in many bigger cities, even in Tahiti’s capital. Not only do I think it is art (it is a skillful expression of the painter), but it livens up the area and often turns derelict buildings into something attractive again.

    In general, I think that what people relate to as art is a very personal choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liesbet, your answer is what I basically answered in my reply to Lynn [Mad Hatters NYC]. Art is a personal choice as usually it revokes emotions in people which is a unique response in all of us. A bit like memories of an experience, ask 10 people what they got out of it and the answers will all be different. As does bloggers blogging about a country 🙂


  7. Hello there. Lovely and engaging post. I think the politically correct movement will say something very wishy washy like, ” Art is subjective /in the eye of the beholder/ whatever YOU want it to be…” and on and on ad nauseum but I strongly believe that while there is no one who DECIDES what art is (well, except for gallery owners who make tons of money ) there is A DEFINITE beauty in some things and a DEFINITE unprepossessing quality in others. As much as I try, I cannot see a toilet or a bed as art (both were/are in the Tate Modern if I’m not mistaken )
    The graffiti tagging you mentioned, I can’t always perceive it as art , although some graffiti takes immense talent to create.
    Our brains perceive certain things as beautiful. I don’t believe for an instant that this is not a universal perception, as we are all connected.
    Whether someone choose to see certain items/paintings /creations as art when said creations are Clearly unappealing to the eye, is arguably just a means with which to make THEMSELVES seem unique and different.
    That said, your photos here are beautifully captured. Thank you immensely for sharing and for getting my brain gears going this morning! All the best 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your interesting reply. Was surprised to hear that the Tate Gallery has gone that way with their art display. I enjoyed visiting the Tate Gallery. Yes, I agree with you regarding a bed. It does not seem to be a creative piece of art, as it is more of an everyday used object!. Though the Danish do create some amazing furniture!! Thanks again for your comment which has made me think more about the topic of art!!


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