I was recently reading a discussion about weather art had to have a meaning or not. This is something I have thought about a lot as an artist that focus on beauty.
I think you can either make the argument that everything has a meaning to someone regardless of how deep or almost nothing has a meaning in the sense of the profoundly deep. A chair maker is unlikely to have a deep conceptual meaning in mind for his latest chair other than to make it comfortable. (No disrespect to craftsmen, I’m just guessing here).
But I think when most people say art has to have a meaning, what they are really asking about is the concept. E.g a sculpture of a dog and a boy could symbolize loyalty and never ending bonds between friends and so on, in a world that is becoming increasingly online based.
In my opinion as an artist if you feel one day like painting a yellow square just because you were in the mood for it I think that is fine too. If someone comes along and wants to buy it isn’t that just a marvelous bonus?
The person will either feel something when looking at this yellow square or maybe it will make them remember a childhood memory or that funny incident at the market. Or it might just add a bit of light and joy to their living room.
I don’t think every artist on the planet has to devote themselves to highly thought provoking art.
Does art have to have a meaning? It already does.
Just like the meaning of the chair is somewhere to sit down and rest your legs, raised above the dirt on the floor, I believe the meaning of all art is to enrich our lives, in any and every way possible.