Jessi’s Caste System of Art

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People as far back as written history goes have argued over what “Good” art is. Always we come to the same conclusion that the quality of an actual piece is in the eye of the beholder. Here’s the thing though, that’s a load of steaming crap. I took an art appreciation class in college and never once talked about what we appreciated. It should have been called “Name the Artist, Date and Era.” Needless to say, I didn’t learn a thing about what actual “Good” art is.

After exploring countless museums, speaking with many fellow museum goers and mentally trying to decode the secrets of “Good” art, I came to this conclusion…

Much like the medieval cast systems, art to this day is “Good” according to what I call the level of snootiness. Now, to be very clear, snootiness is not always a bad thing. Everybody has some. For example, a transient may say “Hey Jess, want to share some of this leftover broccoli beef from the dumpster I found on 2nd and Wall?” My answer would obviously be no which means I’m snooty enough to refuse a repulsive offer such as that. That being said, here are the levels of what I call “Jessi’s Cast System of Art.”

Level 1- Homeless Art

Have you ever seen a crazy person gluing bottle caps to his left elbow? I have. At the time, I though he was just a psychotic man attempting to build himself a suit of armor. Now I realize that he was, in fact, the artist of his level. In the homeless community he is seen as an innovative artist. He is looked upon as dedicated and sophisticated. Can you imagine how long it would take to collect and keep that many bottle caps?

Level 2- Kid Art

If you are anything like me, you remember spending a lot of time at the craft table in school. Every piece of paper that had Popsicle sticks taped to it and plastered with rainbow stickers was a Picasso original in my eyes. The other kids at school and in the neighborhood agreed. The thing is as soon as you bring it home, you get the look from your parents. The look that I know now as “They sent home more shiz?! How the eff am I going to sneak this one into the trash?”

Level 3-Realistic Art

This pretty much explains itself. It’s pictures of things like barns, cats, spoons, old people, a golf club ect. This is art that anyone can look at and be like “Yup, that’s a damn barn alright.” (That’s a direct quote from my grandpa when my grandma brought home an oil painting of, well, a barn.)

Level 4- Contemporary Art

This is the group that spends some serious dolla dolla bills y’all. It’s anything you see in art exhibits, show rooms and living rooms. It’s what the kids at the Seattle Art Institute strive for, but want to rage against at the same time. These are the artists that want to be “different” but mainstream enough to make a living from it. My favorite piece I’ve seen is a picture of a straight up green triangle on a blank canvas that sold for over $3000. I could do that!

Level 5- Not Appreciated in Their Time

We all know of these. The artists that kill themselves because they are so poor that death is a better option than living. The people who end up having art work in glass that is airtight, fire proof, water proof, Al Qaeda proof. Out of curiosity I looked up the most expensive pieces of art in the world and came up with sight:

Which level are you in?



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