The best type of food is the kind recommended by nutritionists and that ordinary people find tasty.
The best kind of art is characterized by similar qualities; it stimulates the viewer’s sense of intrigue while inspiring them with important themes.
This standard for measuring the value of an artwork’s effect — nutritious and delicious (N&D) — is how art ought to be evaluated.
The nutritious aspect of art is the side that reflects the raw nature of life, of humans and of meaning.
Often, the healthy side is riddled with difficult subject matters, twisted morals and challenged traditions — all designed to aid the growth of the human soul.
Difficulty in art is what can stretch the soul to be more flexible with certain ideas; it can exercise our ability to grasp concepts and meaning, should the viewer choose to participate.
A human cannot find inner completion from art without this level of nutrition.
On the flip side, deliciousness is as equally vital as healthiness in regard to good art.
Consider this: a healthy meal is intended to provide the consumer with the right amount of all nutritional standards — the right amount of vitamins, of calories, of protein and so on.
But what good is such a meal if no one wants to eat it due to lack of flavor, or bad flavor?
Extremely healthy snacks that taste gross are wasted potential, for no one will eat them if they are unappetizing.
Art is exactly the same way.
When galleries feature a plethora of modernist artworks — say, folded bed sheets, unmounted urinals, purely black or white or gray canvases —the average person will most likely not understand it.
This lack of enjoyment will cause potential absorbers of meaning to lose interest and be less likely to return to an art gallery.
Perhaps the proper solution to this conundrum is to keep pushing the agenda of modernism and difficult art in order for laymen to become educated and accepting of this art movement.
Despite the intentions of this strategy, that kind of forceful approach will not be successful in winning hearts.
To tie in the food metaphor again, it is better for consumers to ignore a chef’s special dish by choice than to have the chef literally force-feed their creation down the poor consumer’s throat.
The solution then, instead of dividing citizens into the “evolved” and the “laymen,” should be to produce art that is likable for the majority of people to observe and take in.
It is not necessary for an artist to lose meaning with their piece should they decide to make it more appealing, more pleasant or more understandable.
“Deep” and “desirable” can coexist as descriptors.
If art that is produced today — be it for the theaters, iPods, galleries or books — began to be created with elements that attract those who do not study the arts, larger audiences could be formed.
Once larger audiences are formed, the artist can keep their intended goal on sending a message as they produce appealing pieces for the greater number of individuals.
Deliciousness enables the artist to gain more followers, who enable the artist to gain more recognition and money, which enables the creator to create more. It’s a cycle of giving.
Of course, my “nutritious and delicious” standard is vague and purely subjective because the range for which pieces of art are considered either “nutritious” or “delicious” is wide.
Not to mention, what is considered nourishing and attractive changes with each culture and time period.
But this dilemma marks why the artist should follow trends if they want to create work that is nutritious and delicious.
Kyle Sogge is a sophomore illustration major.