What Is Art?


The art world is always evolving. New artists emerge, new movements are born and others die. Despite these constant changes, one thing remains the same: the debate over what constitutes art. This debate has been ongoing for centuries, with different theories and viewpoints emerging from time to time. However, there are some fundamental ideas that have emerged about the nature of art.

Art is not limited to painting, sculpture or architecture; it can be found in music, literature and film as well. In fact, almost anything that can be created through human imagination is considered art. Some examples include a city skyline, a fashion design, a musical score or a poem. However, the majority of the articles and books on this topic focus on the visual forms of art – paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints etc.

Many people believe that art is simply a reflection of our basic human instinct for balance and harmony (beauty). Other people believe that it is a way to experience the mysterious and unexplained aspects of the universe. And yet others think that art is a form of communication and can convey any idea or emotion.

The history of art is full of artistic movements that have attempted to redefine the boundaries of what constitutes a work of art. For example, the Greek philosopher Plato first developed the concept of art as mimesis, or imitation. For centuries, art was valued based on how faithfully it replicated the subject it represented. However, during the Romantic period of the 18th century, art began to be described as something more than just a replica of an object or scene. It became a means of expressing emotions and a symbol of spirituality and freedom.

Other people argue that art is a way to break down cultural barriers and create a more globalized society. It has the ability to take cultural practices from their place of origin and integrate them into other cultures without losing their identity or meaning. This can help to combat intolerance of other cultures and prevent racial or ethnic segregation.

One of the most important functions of art is to make life more enjoyable and manageable. While art can’t solve poverty or promote social justice on its own, it can provide an aesthetic experience that can elevate the mundane activities of everyday life. It can also serve as a tool to help people understand and appreciate each other’s cultural experiences and beliefs.

Robert Shimshak, Collector, Berkeley, CA: The best works of art are the ones that will capture your heart and never let go. They will connect you to the past and feed your future. They have a simplicity and rigorous beauty that demand your attention and challenge your thoughts.

The worst art is the kind that tries to be too clever or obscure, or is self-referential. It isn’t art if it only appeals to a small group of intellectuals or theorists. The best art transcends those categories, and has a universal appeal.