Memes are a form of self expression, much like many other renowned artworks, so why is there such a hesitance when it comes to acknowledging them as art?
Something we covered in one of my other classes was that throughout art history, creating and owning art was often a symbol of class and status. A working class artist would have to try 10 times harder to succeed than his upper class counterpart!
That’s part of why I think that there’s such a controversy over recognizing memes as art. On one hand, you’re expressing your self (the textbook definition of what art is considered to be), but on the other, everyone’s doing it, so does that negate it’s artistic quality? Does that make it less special?
I always liked this piece by Duchamp, because I considered it to be the very first meme:
L.H.O.O.Q (1919) depicts the Mona Lisa with a moustache, and the text is an abbreviation of the phrase “elle a chaud au cul”, meaning “she has a hot butt”. Basically, it was a part of the Dada movement, which emphasized the humorous and nonsensical things in life.
Memes are basically the seasoning of our lives. We can express how we feel, infer how others feel, and relate to each other in this way. I can say I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by this year:
But looking through memes online always put me in a better mood:
On top of everything, I get to make memes for homework!
Soooo, are memes art? I definitely think so. Art is subjective. I believe that it can be anything that you want/consider it to be, and anyone can be an artist; but that’s just my opinion.