View Full Version : What is Art?

18-04-06, 16:34
Here are some definitions of art from www.dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=art):


1. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
2. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
The study or product of these activities.
3. High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.

I prefer this definition, from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art):

4. The process or result of making material works (or artwork) which, from concept to creation, adhere to the "creative impulse".

What do you consider as 'art'? Many of the (older) people I know think that a work of art has to look like whatever it represents - so they like the old masters, and not Picasso. Some (usually older) people think that a work of art has to be produced by someone obviously talented - they want to feel that they could never produce something like that - so Picasso is fine, but they don't appreciate Jackson Pollock. Children often tend to feel the opposite - they appreciate art that they can have a go at themselves, so they often like abstract art.

For me, the emotional impact of a work of art is crucial. I have been moved to tears in art museums, and that is a measure of the art's worth to me. Secondary to that, I like to find out what an artist is trying to say, which can make me appreciate a work of art that doesn't make that initial impression. I think a real artist is one who tries something new - I find Jackson Pollock's work beautiful, but I appreciate it all the more since I learnt that he was (probably) the first painter to move around a horizontal canvas, rather than stand in front of an easel.

I believe very strongly that a work of art need not be beautiful - the emotional impact can be negative. A few years ago there was uproar in my city over an ugly concrete sculpture that was exhibited in the city centre. There were articles and letters in the local paper and discussions on the radio about how it wasn't art. All that reaction proved to me that it was art - it had provoked an emotional response.

Here are some of my favourite artworks, to give you an idea of what I like and why:


I did my art history project for my GCSE on this painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymous Bosch, and I still feel a lot of affection for it. The only one of his paintings I have seen in person is The Temptation of St Anthony, which I saw on my honeymoon in Bruges.


I saw The Weeping Woman by Picasso in London, I think it was in the Tate. It was tucked away in a corner and we came across it unexpectedly. The white area in the painting conveys the emotion perfectly.


This is my favourite of Jackson Pollock's paintings, Lavender Mist. You have to see it in person to see how beautiful the colours are. I sat and looked at this painting for ages, it is so relaxing. My mind tried to make sense of it, but when it couldn't I felt this amazing sense of calm.


Sleep by Salvador Dali. This is exactly how fragile sleep is for me.


This is the first of Andy Goldsworthy's works that I learnt of, entitled "Iris blades pinned together with thorns filled in five sections with rowan berries
fish attacking from below difficult to keep all the berries in nibbled at by ducks". Goldsworthy produces these strikingly beautiful, ephemeral sculptures and photographs them, then leaves them to the ravages of Nature. That has to be one of the most original ideas I have heard of - most art tends to be enduring, even for thousands of years.


I saw (one of) this sculpture, Field by Anthony Gormley, in a church in Shrewsbury. He won the Turner prize for it. I later found out that there are various versions of the sculpture all over the world. Gormley went to various communities, and asked individuals to make a hand-sized clay figure of a person, which he then displayed together. The version I saw consists of 40,000 figures.

19-04-06, 02:06
:blush: I write the statement of one artist:
The Art are a transformation of soul ...
Popular-Art is simply craft...
All next - the rest...

19-04-06, 19:37
To me art is one way of expressing ones feelings. It can be beautiful and can be horrible.

20-04-06, 03:39
It is unsuccessful attempt to send "Picture"...

21-04-06, 02:59
It is "sketch" of the version of a stamp

21-04-06, 03:03
To send it has turned out, but "size" has turned out small.:clueless:

Mars Man
21-04-06, 04:15
Yes, I do like that #4 definition, although in some contexts I may use the word in one of the other senses.

I know from my own experience that there are those 'studies'--where you're working on (esp. for painting) stroke texture, lighting, color and contrast--which may not always be thought of as a 'work of art' (because it's just practicing) but which yet contain the elements of the #4 definition.

Thanks for the pictures, Tsuyoiko, PRAZMATIC, I really go for Dali...and I have always liked Bosch. I'll eventually post some more of my works the Member's Lounge 'Post your art' thread.

I LOVE art !!

21-04-06, 10:17
Art is expression of one's feelings.

21-04-06, 11:52
To send it has turned out, but "size" has turned out small.:clueless:I clicked on it and got a big version. Who made it Prizmatic?

21-04-06, 13:05
Art has become more an more challenging over time, I think.

When the Impressionists arrived on the scene people were outraged at the new style, almost disgusted, like the way many people now react to 'modern art'.
I appreciate the skill of painting something that 'looks like what it's supposed to be', but artists have moved further away from this and tried to show other ways of seeing the world.
I like art that either has an aesthetic or spacial effect on me, that makes me think, or shows some evidence of craft and skill.

Thanks for reminding me of Andy Goldsworthy, Tsuyoiko.

I haven't seen much of his stuff since I was at college. I always admired the precise and strange quality of his work, and all made from the simplest natural materials. I've posted another one below.

22-04-06, 01:18
:blush: To Tsuyoiko
It will be immodest, but I made it. I " support the form "...:angel:

Dutch Baka
22-04-06, 01:22
Art is a personal opinion about something Beautiful

22-04-06, 01:44
:blush: This time has again failed to send "photo-picture"...

22-04-06, 07:52
art is unlimited

22-04-06, 09:35
:blush: To Tsuyoiko
It will be immodest, but I made it. I " support the form "...:angel:Really? You are very talented? Have you seen the 'post your art' thread? Many of us have posted our creations there. Is it your job or just for fun?

22-04-06, 17:34
Art to me, is, in the most simple way I can put is, doing something for nothing. Like it is not really being productive, in a way. I mean, you can sell it if you want to, but it does not really mean you made it to sell it. I cannot really be definite at the moment because I don't have any examples. So, I'll wait till later.

23-04-06, 04:30
The photo in the street.

23-04-06, 04:42
To Tsuyoiko
:blush: Already there is more than year -"hobby"...
Before - some years worked. I do not know, how in other countries, but here where I live now, firms simply used my works, as "brand", for attraction of clients.But these firms " not strongly caring " in maintenance of my "hardware" - I had to buy all itself.(russian new "capitalism"...) But a pay in Russia - I shall better not write about it. In general all this has bothered me and now I "in itself".:music:
P.S.Thanks for " such high estimation of my creativity ":angel:

23-04-06, 11:09
Before - some years worked. I do not know, how in other countries, but here where I live now, firms simply used my works, as "brand", for attraction of clients.But these firms " not strongly caring " in maintenance of my "hardware" - I had to buy all itself.That's too bad - it reminds me of what happened to Alexey Paznitov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexey_Pazhitnov). I hope you have better luck from now on!

24-04-06, 00:43
To Tsuyoiko
Well for Alexey,he has situation - his job is more claimed.:smoke: :clueless:
I continue to photograph, filling up the fund and sometimes I "play by design" and I wait, when the situation begins change, that my knowledge will bring " the fruits " and " all begins on the places ". And I can be engaged in my" the business ".:smoke: :angel:

24-04-06, 23:47
:blush: Yesterday in "gallery" has found a pair of photos (Klepman 1971 and Han Chan) and "has outlined" for JREF-users "post-card". The truth " was late by a holiday of " flowering of the Oriental cherry ". I hope, that this "card" is pleasant both to users, and authors of photos and they " will want it " to present somebody.:angel: :wave: