A friend of mine linked me to an article about a fair in South Dakota that awarded a second place ribbon to a painting by a bear named Kobe. The piece received its award because of its “color, composition and uninhibited expression” according to the judges who had no idea that a bear had created the painting.

The article and a picture of the painting can be found here.

I’m always amused by stories like these that people use to make the claim that modern art isn’t art. I cringe every time I hear the phrase “I could do that” directed at Modern Art because it makes me wonder why you didn’t do that. In the same vein I hate it when people say “my kid could do that.” I don’t care if your three-year old child could do that because they lack a major component that every artist has (or should have) intent. While it may not look like it artists make decisions based on their experience as an artist and what they think looks good.

So, is it fair to judge Kobe’s painting with those who intended to make their work? I don’t think so and here’s why: Kobe didn’t intend to create a piece of art. At best it should be hung up on the fridge with the finger paintings your kids do.