What is art?

Yeah, that old question came up again in my mind, this time at the Getty Center.

Certainly part of what makes something art, it seems to me, is the emotional investment the artist makes in the thing itself. This investment is conveyed to the viewer through the object, whatever it is…painting, sculpture, song, dance, etc. I can’t seem to riddle it out any other way.

There’s a maker, the thing made, and a viewer. Art results.

There was beauty all around me at the Getty Center…inside the buildings, of course, but outside the buildings, as well. And the buildings themselves are works of art.

Click for detail

There was so much beauty that by the end of my visit, an aesthetic sense, an art emotion, for lack of a better term, engulfed me. I was in a near state of rapture that transformed everything around me into art. My shoe. The fire alarm. The freeway, for God sakes.

This lingering essence filled my head as if I were high on something, a kind of drunkenness that colored the world and imbued it with magnificence.

Then, slowly, as Nettie and I took the tram back to the parking lot, moment by moment as we drove away, the high dissipated. My art antennae weakened, the signal faltered, and the drone of the workaday world intruded once more.

Fortunately, I can go back to the Getty anytime and inhale again the atmosphere of art.

Of course, I could make some art myself, and inhale deeply in the privacy of my home. Perhaps I’ll do that. I’ll start in just a moment.

I took some pictures of my day under the influence. You can check them out at my Gallery Page. Or click the link below to go directly to the photos.

Seeing Art Images




5 Responses to Seeing Art. The Getty Center.

  1. Maxwell says:

    A great example of “Art is in the Eye if the Beholder”.

  2. Arri Gubner says:

    Frank, Thank you for the pictures, We are determined to make a day of it. Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

  3. fz says:

    Thanks, John. And I just checked out your Heaven and Hell volume of poems. Wonderful stuff in there and excellent pairing of photographs. I’m going to take some time and enjoy them.



  4. john guzlowski says:

    Frank, I felt the same way. Engulfed by art–but engulfed in a good, nurturing way. Thanks for your post. It brought back many fine memories.

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