“Taste classifies, and it classifies the classifer.” ~ Pierre Bourdieu

September 7, 2014

The quote is from Pierre Bourdieu’s book Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. I came across it in the book Believing is Seeing; Creating the Culture of Art which discussed the origin and development of the concept of art as we know it today. The author follows the above quote with: “Taste is not something “natural” but something cultural, something produced. Bourdieu looked at the way consumption of Art and culture legitimates “social differences.” Having taste and appreciating fine art is a means of distinguishing yourself: It’s a way of demonstrating that you have class.” ~ Mary Anne Staniszewski in Believing is Seeing; Creating the Culture of Art

Can’t we just assume that we all have ‘class’ (whatever THAT is) and just get on with it? I found parts of her book interesting, but I am still trying to figure out if the elitism that surrounds the appreciation of art is a help or a hindrance – what role would art play in our culture if it weren’t so embedded in the domain of the wealthy? And maybe that’s finally changing…

And while I wasn’t debating esoteric topics in art history with myself, I was doing this:

Three Pears
Three Pears, Sep 6, 2014, Oil on Canvas, 14″ X 11″

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