What is art?


It is difficult to exactly define the word art, especially in today’s modern society. It means many different things to different people. What art is to one person may not be considered art to another person. Art is like the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” it is truly in the eye of the beholder.

The teaching of art in art schools is mostly in the area of fine arts, painting and craftwork. It’s taught to experiment and bring new concepts, ideas and images of originality to one’s work, however typically proves to be a problem when defining the concept of art because of the fact art is purely subjective. Therefore, if an instructor does not care for something that is completely original the student may receive a poor grade on the project even though the student brought something completely original and unique.

To conceive and create something completely original and has never been seen before is what every artist typically strives for. However, this new visual can sometimes confuse people and can take time for them to understand and appreciate it, if at all. For example, when abstract art was introduced to the world, most people did not understand it and did not consider it art, and some people still do not, nor ever will, consider it art.

Some artists attempt to display every day life, either personal or other people’s lives, through their work. Some people consider this just to be just every day images of nothing more than every day life that anyone could create.

The matter of perception is the main is the main reason most people do not understand or accept art. Since new and completely unique art has nothing to compare it to, people can find it very confusing. Once people have had time to absorb new art, they can sometimes accept and appreciate it. Abstract art, once it had time to be understood, began to get much more appreciation and value.

Art is something of many different forms and mediums; there is painting, sculpture, pottery, music, cinematic films, photography, writing or dance to mention a few. The amount of work that has gone into a finished art piece is not considered in the price of the work, instead it’s the creative originality and perceived value that it represents.

Some art works are purposely made to be provocative and shocking to arose a reaction. This is to cause people to get an emotional reaction, think and talk about the work. For example, a fashion designer will make outrageous designs for runway shows that would have no practical use to get a reaction to their new line of clothing. An auto manufacturer will make wild concept cars to attract attention to their brand, and an artist may purposely create controversial works to arose emotional responses and gain attention to their body of work.

A goal of many artists are to have people view thinks in a different way or to get an idea or point of view expressed in a way that inspires people to think and discover meanings. For this very reason many artist’s works have been destroyed by governments because they did not want their people gaining new and inspired thoughts jeopardizing control. Some artists have even been banned or incarcerated for creating things that the government did not approve of.

Art is a reflection of both the artist’s personal experiences, views of the world and record current culture in a completely unique manner. This is why art continues to evolve, say something new and bring something fresh to the world. After all, if art it did not evoke thought and passion and bring something new, what would be the point?

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