Since you have been a painter for close to eighty years and an art historian for more than sixty, you have spent a lot of time thinking about and experiencing how art affects people’s lives. These days in particular, people are very confused about what art is.
Yes, and you can’t blame them. Art critics have written about it in such an obscure way that it’s become a great obstacle to people. They feel that they don’t know anything about art. In fact, if they have read any art criticism, they are bound to be mystified when they go see the real thing. They don’t see where it is.
The only definition that I think is of any use is that art is something made by human beings, as opposed to the natural world.
But most people think of art as something that is in a museum, not something that might be in a garbage can.
If you come upon a hillside in the wilderness, and any inadequate, pitiful person has built a shanty there, you know it was made by people. It doesn’t have to be something grand or glorious or even decent. It just bears our mark. Because whatever is made bears the mark of the maker. It is unavoidable. It’s just that way….