What makes good Art?

As a Commercial Art Gallery you’d think we had the answers to what on the surface looks like a very straight forward question.

Who decides what is art, the academics? Well in some cases an artist’s reputation can definitely be added to by the acceptance and endorsement of the establishment, they may be seen to have the right education, influences and techniques and originality. But is that the only way.
Today Artists can be self-taught with raw talent, expressing diverse ideas creating work using old and new techniques.

But then Charles F Goldie in his life time was not recognised for his art and neither was Vincent Van Gogh, however today both artists fetch stunning prices on the rare times they come to auction. So education and or talent

Today Artists can be self-taught with raw talent, expressing diverse ideas creating work using old and new techniques.
The digital era has meant that a painting be it in oil or acrylic can now have an extended and diverse life through computer manipulation and printing techniques. Limited editions and embellished limited edition prints are a way for many to get into art collecting at a price point that isn’t cost prohibitive. But do multiple editions make it art? The purists would say no they are posters; but then 20 odd years ago photography was not seen as an Art Form, now pubic art galleries around the world will happily have exhibitions featuring Cecil Beaton, Ansel Adams or New Zealand’s own Graeme Sydney to name a few.

This of course brings us no closer to the answer of our original questions; What makes Good Art?

Recently I’ve had two different conversations where the people involved were very specific about what they thought was not art, one thought that a photograph wasn’t because they were a realist artist and photography was cheating, the work discussed at the time sold two days later so clearly I wasn’t the only one who disagreed. The other conversation was one person expressing an opinion about two other art forms obviously not in their repertoire, this person thought they were crap, irrelevant, yet others have admired the technical skill required. Who is right?
For me personally good art has many components, if you have an emotional response to it either positive or negative it has worked on some level, if you keep thinking about it long after you have experienced it has also worked. Art can also be beautiful but it doesn’t have to be if it challenges you make you think or reassess a perspective it has worked. To me this is good art, all the technical ability in the world can never substitute passion and the ability to create a conversation.