One of the things that’s always irritated me is the notion that, in art, everything is subjective. According to this philosophy, there’s no absolute value to art, which implies that art can be neither good nor bad. It trivializes good taste, and belittles artistic talent. It’s in fact suggesting that anything is art if you want it to be.
I’ve long since concluded that the blanket phrase “art (and taste) is subjective” is a cop-out, typically voiced by people who use it as a crutch to shroud their own lameness, and store the word “subjective” on the same shelf as the biggest words in their vocabulary.
I remember struggling with this issue while studying 20th Century Music in college, where we were forced to endure nonsensical pieces of noise that were seemingly created solely for the purpose of breaking classical rules and shunning tasteful sensibilities. According to this “art is subjective” philosophy, I could go urinate on the wall and call it a masterpiece. (Not that I haven’t already done so.)
Paul Graham wrote an outstanding essay on this topic, taking many words out of my mouth via my subconscious.
“I wrote this essay because I was tired of hearing ‘taste is subjective’ and wanted to kill it once and for all.”
— Paul Graham