Below we have a great work of art:
The painting is great for three reasons:
1.) Anybody can understand the meaning
2.) It exalts a noble cause(s): i.e. the family, military sacrifice, etc.
3.) It blends nature and humanity together in a creative way
By contrast, here we have a bad piece of art:
The painting is bad for the opposite reasons:
1.) Nobody can understand the meaning
2.) It lacks a noble cause
3.) It fails to blend nature and humanity together in a creative way
Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” In short, the two things have nothing in common. They’re diametrically opposite.
The same is true for great and bad art – the fundamental difference is profound. And learning to spot the difference is crucial. If you can spot a great work of art, your spirit will be sanctified. You’ll have a road map to the noble life. You’ll find a kinship with the heights of human emotion.
But if you put your faith in bad art, you’ll become lost. You’ll be lacking in a Weltanschauung. You’ll be alienated by the trickster. Your soul an empty cup…waiting to receive the poison.
See Related Article: Poetry Review: A Critique of “August 1968” by W.H. Auden