My 5-year-old can do the same




There are several questions within this question such as : « why is this one so expensive ? », « why is this artist more acknowledged by Art experts than others who actually know how to draw ? », « several millions of euros for say, 2 hours of work max., when classical painters used to spend months working ? »…to finally hear « I really don’t know anything about art, I don’t understand it » or even « do they think we’re fools ? ». And of course, I won’t mention certain “installations”, like this cube made entirely of compiled spaghetti, as perfect as it was, that was seen at the past FIAC…


"Pez Dispenser" - Jean Michel Basquiat (1984)

For, although we do not question the artistic talents of a Monet, a Gauguin or a Delaunay (whether we like their works or not is besides the point) because we recognize their technic, but also their work, whereas a critique such as “my 5-year-old can do the same” is more commonly heard when referring to contemporary art. Let’s take a Jackson Pollock, for example, or even a Basquiat. And I must admit, I am not sure how I feel when I see certain contemporary artworks…


Nonetheless, to restore equality and to not put everyone under the same umbrella, if I may, I will quote Miro’s answer ( about the "blue" serial, picture of the cover) to the question “how long did it take you to create this artwork?”: “Over 40 years…and roughly 10 minutes.”


Because what matters isn’t the time an artist will have spent creating an artwork, but rather the whole process, the self-analysis, the evolution prior to. A work of ART is the accomplishment of research, a ripening, an exploration, an approach over several years.


I will take two concrete examples : everyone knows how to take a good picture with a smartphone, including your 5-year-old. Does that make him or her an artist ? No. A true artist will have created an entire series. A very good portrait artist has the technic to draw you to a tee. Does that make him or her destined for the Louvre ? Neither. It takes more than “quantity” or “technic” for Talent to arise. It takes an extra dose of soul, of emotion and inspiration…and work.



These ingredients all create the guiding thread:, an artist’s identity and DNA, which expands artistically and aesthetically. Only then do the work and tenacity intervene, by reason of constant self-questioning and the acquisition of technic, with which the artist will imbue his artworks of his soul and emotions, as to better transmit them to us. This is what will culminate to Art, with Beauty, our Emotion; Even minimalism and simplicity.



Thus, when in front of an artwork (I am not referring to the compiled spaghetti mentioned earlier…let’s remain critique), do not only worry about the “how”; instead, let your emotions speak, your imaginary escape and express itself, go beyond the technic. As a cloud, with its many shapes, knows how to let your imagination take over (or not). Your 5-year-old will understand ! Just as he can be fascinated by a magic trick without trying to “get the gizmo”.


So, if you’re a disciple to the phrase “my 5-year-old can do the same”, I suggest that you either let your emotions go and feed on artworks, or let me meet your child, immediately ! Either way, I’ll see you soon at an exhibition ?




Article published by LJ Art Traffik