Popular Art

Aaron Smuts
Rhode Island College
The common assumption is that works of popular are less serious, less artistically valuable. Popular art is driven by a profit motive; real art, high art, is produced for loftier goals, such as aesthetic appreciation. Further, popular art is formulaic and gravitates toward the lowest common denominator. High art is innovative. It enriches, elevates, and inspires; popular art just entertains. Worse, popular art inculcates cultural biases. It is a corporate tool of ideological indoctrination, making contingent social and economic arrangements seem necessary. Or so the common view holds. In light of these common assumptions, we must ask just what marks the distinction between high art and popular art? Is there really any important difference at all? Is there reason to think that popular is by its very nature aesthetically inferior to high art? In this article, I consider some of the prominent answers to these questions. The discussion is organized around questions concerning two general topics: (1) the nature of popular art, and (2) the putative aesthetic deficiencies of popular art.
Keywords popular art  aesthetics  aesthetics value  high vs low
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A Theory of Mass Culture.Dwight Macdonald - 1953 - Diogenes 1 (3):1-17.

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