Art is lost upon America. The elitism and exclusivity of the art world and its seasoned patrons leaves young, aspiring connoisseurs feeling infinitely unenlightened and inferior. The art snobs among us make it a sterling point to establish their superior insight into the works of Cézanne or Chagall — as if they truly know better.
People who read our two-sentence Twitter bio often ask us what the phrase “democratizing art” means. To us, the democratization of art is predicated entirely on freedom—the freedom to appreciate, create and engage art in every facet of life. It has as much to do with encouraging individual tastes and preferences as it does with increasing access to art. By virtue of its traditional definition, ‘democracy’ affords people the luxury of making choices for themselves. Yet, in many realms, we are often uncomfortable standing by our choice of aesthetic expression. We’ve unwittingly learned to look to the standards set by an esoteric elite — namely our beloved celebrities and socialites — for clues on what to appreciate.
The democratization of art is also about coming up with ways to observe the art that already exists around us. It’s striking how complacent and conditioned we are about not seeking beauty in daily life. Art transcends all forms of media — one doesn’t need to frequent galleries or museums to find it. It’s hardly beholden to the walls of the MoMA or the stage of an opera house. There’s art in our homes, our workspaces and the products we use. There’s art in relationships, in business. There’s art in the way of doing things. These manifestations, too, are real and worthy of appreciation and reflection.