Bees are multi-talented, hard workers. They exhaustively work all day satisfying their Queen bee. They keep us humans alive by pollinating the crops for the food we eat. AND they create art for exhibition purposes (for example, MOMA).
But is it art?
This is a common question asked in the art and illustration world - one that raises many other questions. Art-making processes are constantly in a state of flux. If something is created by a machine or an insect versus just a human hand is it art? If the art is about process versus end product – is it still art? What is of greater value - the art or the artist statement (artist’s ideas)?
Children’s books are all about ideas. Like the sculpture and installation art world, some published books push the boundaries as to what is a story. There is B.j. Novak’s book The Book With No Pictures - that is pure silliness and delight. As the title suggests, there are no pictures in the book, just a lot of very silly text. It guarantees to entertain and bring a smile to everyone’s face.
At the other end of the spectrum there are picture books without words such as Molly Idle’s Flora and the Flamingo (video demo). This book is beautifully illustrated, and it tells a story of a girl and her friend – purely without words.
It seems to me as far as the arts go – the great stuff entertains us or makes us think. It starts conversations. How it’s created shouldn’t matter. It’s also nice to know that a group of bees can get a major exhibit in an art gallery – if they could only learn to write!