A question, dear readers. Is it art when dogs paint?
Wesley J. Smith answers with a resounding “no:”
The dog art isn’t actually art–at least not art created by a dog. The dogs are not expressing their aesthetic yearnings or attempting to create a thing of beauty. Rather, they are engaging in trained behavior that, for them, has no deeper meaning. (The same is true about similar elephant paintings that are created in India, an example of which is reproduced at the right margin.) Any artistic elements in this story spring exclusively from human activities, and thus, the story beneath the story is that the paintings made by dog and elephant “artists” illustrate the truth of human exceptionalism
Melinda Penner agrees: Though two abstract paintings, one by a human and the second by a doggie, may appear similar (especially to me) the first has something the second can’t have: meaning and intentionality. The doggie is only capable of creating random strokes on a canvas and is conveying no design or meaning, no information. Art is what it is because of it’s intrinsic value – the artist’s intention. A doggie’s painting can’t be art because he just isn’t capable of imparting that kind of information.
What about you? Is it art or not?