• Billy Mark

Bad Art

"The first shall be last and the last shall be first."


I predict tons of bad art will be produced through creative tithing. At least, hopefully. Bad art means that we, as a diverse culture, are digging beneath the false self's construction of The Artist and entering into our true selves alive in authentic communities. It takes a lot of bad poems to write a good one.

And even then, that good one, may just be someone else's bad one.

There are so many artists from so many groups that have confined themselves to a very narrow creative artistic expression. They have allowed the values of gatekeepers from a distant aesthetic tradition to label their work: good or bad. Yes, bad can mean, careless and skilless, etc. But it can also just mean "not a part of my tradition." It takes time and bad art to untangle these experiences and chart a course toward a deeper expression. One that is truthful, not just to prevailing popular tastes, but to the true self in true community.

There will be a lot of bad art made by people as we continue to question the premise of bad and whose system of representation this bad is based on. If I am not considered to be a beautiful or valuable person by an identity system, why am I holding its values deep inside of my creativity? Why do I allow myself to be a symbol of something less for someone else? For attention? Because it will hopefully (but probably not) get me paid? Because…?

Our creativity is stronger than that.

There will be tons of work that I don't like, and this prospect thrills me. If I don't understand a piece or am unmoved by it, the fact that people have intentional time and space to explore their voice within their community, and to discover what they, at their core know to be art, this is a good and beautiful thing. Even if it's bad.

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