I have been thinking a lot about art lately. Captain America wants to buy some art to decorate our house. I recently helped a friend hang art in her bedroom. She bought her art at World Market. Don't get me wrong: I love World Market. I just don't think that the mass-produced decorations you can buy there are "art." I'm not saying they're ugly or anything. My mother bought us some prints there that hang in our living room. But we never use the word "art" to describe them. Yes, someone created them, but then they were mass-produced. Thus rendering them not art. As far as I'm concerned, if it's not the original, it's not art. It can still be lovely, unique, or whatever other adjective you use, but once it's been copied, I just don't see how you can call it art.
Captain America wants to hang some art in our living room, and all I can think is, we can't afford art. We can afford my friend Eric, who makes glassworks. (this site is a little weird...he's been working on it, but sometimes you have to click in to enter it.)
And then Costco came out with this really cool component of their photo center. They own the digital rights (or something like that) to tons of artwork that they can print on canvas, or almost anything else you want, and then you go to Costco to pick it up. Pieces like Monets and Picassos. It's really very cool. And did I mention you can print it on canvas, so you don't have to have a framed poster of something (by the way, because I am so ridiculous about this, I refuse to own framed posters of art. I mean, who am I kidding? A poster is absolutely not art. And, no, the irony is not lost on me that this sentence is located right next to an ad for a poster of art.).
Anyway, this Costco stuff looks really nice. And I have found Costco's products to be of great quality. So now I'm suffering from this inner turmoil. I don't want the art in my house to feel like a lie. But is it really a lie if I already know it's not the original. I can get Monet's Water Lilies, which I L.O.V.E. I LOVE them so much that when people tell me they don't really care for impressionism, or it just doesn't do anything for them, I actually wonder if I'm in a bad dream? Has their brain been eaten by a space alien? Have I entered some sort of alternative reality where Monet is not the most brilliant painter of all time?
Really, though, if I got a print of the Water Lilies, who would think I owned the original? I'm not sure I'd even want to. I don't know how to care for something like that (assuming we find some sort of work around to how I'd afford it or where I'd put it).
The more I think about it, the more I feel like it should be okay for me to buy Costco's canvas prints of digital images of art that I LOVE. After all, it's not like I can jet off to the New York MoMA whenever I want to see them.