What does the word “art” mean?

rod stewart 2

The third floor of Rod Stewart’s Los Angeles home contains a model railroad layout that measures 23 X 124 feet, and he estimates that he has at least another three years before it’s complete. Is it a work of art? In the Daily Beast, Malcolm Jones thoughtfully suggests that maybe it is. In a world where a diorama counts as art, why not? It’s a miniature representation of some part of the world, in three dimensions, after all. There’s a passage in the piece that makes me want to agree:

I laughed when saw the story. And then I began reading about the depth and breadth of his zeal (he has two assistants, he rents an extra hotel room on the road when he’s performing for designing, building, and painting the structures that populate his layout). Then I studied the photographs in the magazine closer—and the more I looked, the more impressed I became. The attention to detail, coupled with carpentry skills and a painter’s eye (he’s colorblind and someone has to check his reds and greens, but still), strongly suggest that here is an artist—a nutty artist, maybe, but an artist.


2 Responses to “What does the word “art” mean?”

  1. Richard Harrington

    Funny. I don’t really have an opinion in it being art, but if it catches on there will be a to of railroad aficionados trying to cash in. Is it art because of what it is, or is it art because it’s Rod Stewart’s.

  2. dave dorsey

    Model railroads, HO gauge, were a big thing when I was growing up out West–not far from your neighborhood, actually. It reminds me of the dioramas photographers are painters are constructing as a source for an image. A miniature world . . .