What Is Art?

Art is a broad spectrum of human activities involved in the creation of performing or visual art, which express the artist’s imagination, creative concepts, or specific skill, meant to be enjoyed primarily for their aesthetic beauty or aesthetic value. In recent years art has become popular as a commercial art form, with the growth of galleries, and more specifically, online art galleries, giving the public the opportunity to view and purchase original works of art by a variety of artists from different genres and disciplines. Art may be viewed on a large scale through exhibits and exhibitions, held art shows, art fairs, art shows, art collecting and trading, art collecting societies, and art collecting clubs. The word ‘art’ itself comes from the Latin ‘rate’, meaning ‘the art of’. It is generally seen as referring to any work of visual art that motivates the audience to interact with the work and perhaps, enjoy it.

Art is used to referring to a range of aesthetic experiences, including but not limited to sculpture and paintings, music, literature, and dance. The development of art over time has produced many different artistic styles and perceptions, many different ways of interpreting art, and many different interpretations of art. However, one thing that has remained constant is the ability of any medium of art to communicate a message. The ability of any medium of art to communicate a message is known as the ‘mood of the artwork’.

Most modern definitions of art, whether they are in the form of contemporary definitions, common usage definitions, or academic definitions, attempt to define art in its most common and traditional sense. Contemporary definitions tend to describe art as an organized way of creating art, with an emphasis on an artistic production that is capable of bringing about change in the viewer. Common usage definitions of art tend to describe art as creative and significant artistic productions, often produced with an ensemble of other artistic works. Academic definitions of art generally describe art in its more specific, complex, and theoretical sense.

The purpose of art is to communicate a message, be it a statement of purpose or an idea. In other words, art is communication. But how is this true? How does art actually communicate a message? Where does art fit in all of this? And what can its meaning be to a person, an individual, a group, or a society?

The artwork is the means by which art communicates its message to others. Artists are artists, but they do not need to actually produce a tangible work of art (the artwork cannot be seen until it is done); it is only the means of how the work will be seen. By looking at art in its widest possible context, one can begin to understand the message of art and the nature of art itself. When we look at art from this standpoint, it becomes clear that art is not a specific style or shape, but it is instead the result of a creative process, the results of which will be seen in the artwork. When a work of art has the specific message that the artist intended, it can then be considered art.

This being said, does that mean that the art that one sees should not be taken too seriously? Surely there are some wonderful works of art that have great beauty and value. It also seems that art is more than just having great colors, interesting shapes, and other superficial traits. The art of art is about seeing, as well as feeling, the message that the work conveys. As such, when art is looked at from this perspective, it ceases to be art and becomes just another form of communication. So, while it may be important to some and important to some people, the real issue at the end of the day is the ability of art to communicate its message.

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