Consider the relative nature of mimesis (i.e., realism) as a criterion. Should something “look real” to be worthy of being called art? Think about how skill in execution and brilliance of conception sometimes compete in our visual evaluations. Consider also the monetization of art; phenomenon of superstar status for artists and their creations as well as what motivates vandalism and, conversely, why do collectors collect?
Jonathan Ribner, associate professor; director of Graduate Admissions, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Boston University