Art is a Joke

I was having coffee with a friend today and came up with the analogy that creating artwork is like telling a joke.

A joke needs to be shared with other people, but sometimes those other people may not “get it”. It also takes skill to be able to tell a joke well.

Similarly, Art needs to be shared with others, but sometimes those others don’t get it. The reason they don’ t get it may be because it is the wrong audience for that artwork, or because the artist was not clear in their attempt. Ansel Adams said it well, nothing is worse than a sharp photo of a fuzzy concept.

There are many other similarities:

  • a comedian needs to learn how to deal with hecklers
  • a comedian needs to present the right jokes to the right audience
  • a comedian will never explain a joke
  • there is a mutually beneficial feeling when a comedian and the audience share the experience of a joke.


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. The photo with this post was taken many years ago while working for Seniors Living Magazine. The Red Hat Ladies knew how to enjoy life…

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