According to Charles B. Stubbs (April 7, Readers' Forum), most of us are art illiterates so we should trust the educated Utah Arts Council's choice of a painting for the new courts building without complaint. I have not seen the painting, but I feel I must defend the right to criticize it. I don't care how art uneducated I am, if I'm paying for it, I have the right to voice my opinion. For years we citizens have been forced to pay for National Endowment for the Arts atrocities, such as a naked woman dipped in chocolate, which so-called experts have considered art.
However, "there is strong disagreement about the definition of real art. . . . Time and again, elite groups have decided that certain people are great artists, while completely shunning or even denouncing others whose works and performances are popular with the public. Look at these controversies and you discover that even the elitists are not of one mind as to what comprises real talent or good art." (Melvin D. Barger, "Cliches of Politics," pages 237-238).Mr. Stubbs writes as though there is consensus on what is considered good art, but I prefer to agree with Mr. Barger and will continue to criticize paintings such as the one I saw in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which was a huge framed picture of only an off-center black line wandering across it. Obviously, I disagree with some "experts" but I believe I have the right to do so, illiterate or not.