There are many interpretations as to what constitutes art or entertainment.
Some classical art purists might say that art should only be measured in precision and sophistication, that the doodles of a 3-year-old couldn’t possibly compare to a work of van Gogh, or the chord play of an acoustic guitar is nothing compared to the musical masterpiece of a Beethoven symphony. Complexity equals genius. Simplicity equals mediocrity.
There are modern art enthusiasts, however, who might argue quite the opposite. They might say that those 3-year-old scribbles have the potential to be the most powerful piece in the modernist art movement in centuries. That wailing along to an electric guitar and a set of drums can be just as moving as an operatic piece, because that wailing is the vocal manifestation of an entire generation. They are releasing a psychological message and energy into a distorted form of self-expression that does not take on the boundaries of a stereotypical form of beauty. Overall meaning and message overtakes the perfection of a form of presentation.
Time has always clashed with opinions when it comes to what art is worth, being called popular entreatment, and what isn’t worth anything at all. With the rise of the Internet, the voice of the experts has been replaced by the voice of the active media-consuming public, and basically what they scream about on comment boards seems to become the accepted reality.
Paintings, photography and music videos are ridiculed if the messages are too abstract to understand, or they can be ridiculed for not being abstract enough.
Movies that involve a certain actor/director/cameraman are either already considered a success before even showing in theaters, or are boycotted beyond belief by angry celebrity-hating bloggers.
Every music genre is either the only thing worth listening to or ear-bleeding, headache-inducing, irritating white noise.
Every opinion must be heard, and anyone contradicting is either closed-minded or uncultured.
Is art sophistication with refined influence or free expression with no boundaries whatsoever?
I personally believe what is considered artistic or what is defined as entertaining is based on two things: sending and receiving. The vision the artists create can be almost impossible to completely decipher.
Only the painter knows what that red dot in the middle of his or her black canvas means. Only the director knows what he or she wants the actor to convey, and the actor can only hope the audience understands his or her portrayed emotions. Only the musician knows the real reason he or she wrote every bar of that song, and only the writer understands every syllable and sentence of his or her novel.
But then again, art intended for the world must reach a targeted audience. Only if the person looking at that picture, watching that play, listening to that song or cracking open that book can understand the meaning behind the art can its success truly be measured.
I’m not saying that every Internet troll on the Yahoo! comments has to praise a certain piece of work and declare it true entertainment, but if you’re trying to send out a message in order to reach out to the world, it’s not going to do much good if you write in Pig Latin for people who read it.