50th Edition, Lifestyle

What is art?

By Denebola
Published: February 2011

By Rachel Knight, Volume 34
December 23, 1994

Art takes many forms. There is art in the blazing swirl of blue paint across white canvas, art in the tremble in a singer’s voice and art in cooking a gourmet meal. Art in the tight spin of a ballet dancer and in the scrawl of a pen across paper. Art in acting and art in medicine. Art in music and art in sculpture.
Art is inseparable from existence – civilization is both created from art and creates art. Art defines culture. Art imitates nature and its natural processes. But while nature can only do natural things, art takes over where nature leaves off, fundamental about human nature: the purpose of art is to give expression to the universal element in human life. Art is the result of mankind grasping those similarities of experience in view of which many separate experiences become a unified whole. Art is self-contained and complete in itself. For this reason it can be judged aesthetically, a judgment peculiar to it alone. Living is art. Even if all someone does is sit and watch television, he is doing it in his own special, personalized way.
Art is a dialogue between artist and medium. The artist does something, the art responds, and then the artist listens to that response and makes a change in turn. For example, a musician creating a piece of music may write a few chords, play them in succession, listen to how they sound, modify a few notes and then listen again.
Art is communication between all people. It comforts me – it keeps me going through the day like a cup of coffee.
Art transmits a message to its audience. No matter how crude or morally bad a subject, if it is handled by a talented artist, the result is a work of art. Because art has an emotional appeal, it entices the irrational part of a man’s soul.
Art is the stylization of human experience.
Art, in theory, can achieve truthful, honest expression. And for this reason the artist is destined to fail, as no other dare fail. The traditional artist strives to give his art the illusion of life, to seduce his audience into a “willful suspension of disbelief.” Art is the juxtaposition of emotion, which is formless, and form, which must struggle every step of the way to capture emotion and make it stay.
Art is intensely personal. For me, art is the only way I can express myself. My art comes completely form my thoughts and feelings, and from society’s impact on my conscious and subconscious. Through art I can convey pain, sadness, anger or joy that I feel inside so much or as little as I want to. Art, unlike conversation, presents no limits for me.
Art is the communication between all people. Art transmits an idea from being a mere idea to being tangible, real. Art is the result of constant interplay between contending components in the creative life of man: the destruction of individuality and the interpretation of individual existence.
By constant opposition, each stimulates the other to further effort. The result is the growth of art. Art can unite all people, knocking down the boundaries between individuals, while at the same time aiding man to see within himself. Art is an uninhibited, free and direct communication with the deep mysteries of nature which defy normal understanding. In true art, pain and joy blend into one.
One of the most incredible moments to be experienced, for me at least, is when art guides me to understand some huge piece of myself. Like when I write poetry: sometimes my finders will be typing practically ahead of my brain, and all of a sudden I’ll stop and go back and read over what I wrote, and I will find fragments of feelings that I never before knew existed within me.
Art is the elevation of the soul through beauty.
Art is timeless – it transcends the boundaries of time by immortalizing an object, person, concept or idea. A moment of happiness, when painted upon a canvas, is no longer a moment; it is forever.
Just because something is in a museum doesn’t mean it is necessarily art. For example, a box pained lack and titled “My Soul” is no more art than going to the bathroom. Because art is not only idea, it also requires talent to express that idea in an emotion-inducing way. Art takes effort and talent – it might be a good idea, but if it is crude and gross, then it is worthless.
The intrinsic process of making art is more important than the final product.
Art is like dreaming – it is the interpretation of life through images and sounds. These images aren’t perceived by the intellect, but by the artistic sense. An essential part of the art experience is the ever-present realization that the images are not real, but illusory.
True artists do not create art because they want to; they create it because they have to. An artist can no more stop himself from creating than a starving person can stop himself from eating. Artists are haunted by demons, and art is, in effect, an exorcism of those demons. Through art the artist can gain relief from inner pain.
Art is an attack upon a society’s preconceived ideas and predetermined good sense. Through art one can perceive events without the inner connection that usually links cause and effect. Art encompasses all, every single shred of conscious and unconscious thought, blossoming like flowers into eternal form.

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