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From: Stephanie, Tennessee
That's a tough question, and oddly enough, one that came up the other day. I was looking for inspirational imagery for a design project and in addition to the art books and photography books, i grabbed a few of the illustration annuals put out every year. My classmates were amazed to see what they held--some of it is very definitely Art within its own right. But what makes it that? The general consensus that we reached was thatit is something inherent in the work itself, something that transcends the label you put on it. Just as I wouldn't call some really bad paintings I've seen art and I would not hesitate to call other bad ones a definite piece of Art, it seems to be this bizzare intangible spirit almost that makes it Art or Not Art.
But somebody also said that it has more to do with the intention of the artist, if it's for the $$ or if they include something of themselves in their work. I like that, as well, and doubtless it shows through in the work.
Anyway, that's just my rambling two cents.