What is art?

I have had many discussions about the topic of what defines art. What makes a particular thing art has always been a question of mine. The author claims that the crucial factor to the beginning of art is, “ the ability not just to recognize that something is special, but deliberately to set out to make something special,” (P. 8).  He says that when a person exerts control, takes pains, and uses care to do the best they can, the result is generally called artistic. This concept is confusing to me. Something may be “special” to one person, but does that make it art? There are some people out there who put their fingernails in a big pile and call it art, but is this actually art? Maybe by doing this, they were making it special, they exerted control over the project and did the best they could with their materials. From what the author says, this would be art. Personally, I think that something like that is ridiculous and could never be called art. I understand that art is different to every person but then how do we go about defining art? What is special to some is not so special to others.


~ by mccaule2 on April 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “What is art?”

  1. In having taken various art and art history classes over the years this topic seems to get people very heated. Many people have different views as to what art is some think that presentation of food and even coming up with original recipes is considered art, but others think that is untrue. Some feel that clothing design is art, even if it isn’t super intricate, but people would disagree with this. Then there is the type of art that offends people and the people who are offended will often say it isn’t art because it is too harsh. I think at this point it is nearly impossible to define what art is. There will always be people who disagree with another person’s definition of art. I think the only thing that can be done is for every individual to define what art is to them. This will help them to appreciate art that they consider to be art and then can ignore the things that they do not consider art. That is the only way I believe art can be defined, but a universal definition will never work.

  2. I don’t think its ridiculous to say that some things are considered art when they do not seem to have much artistic skill involved and the creator just says that its art. To me, art is anything that can express ones emotion, thoughts, feeling and transmit it to someone who has the same view. You could say that if at least one person is one the “same page” with the artist, then its art. Art that has lots of artistic techniques and beauty, such as the Mona Lisa, can be compared to the color blue; everyone sees the color blue just as everyone recognizes that the Mona Lisa is art. However, a pile of finger nails may just be an x-ray, not a lot of people know its there but that doesn’t mean its not there or thats its not art. Overall, I think it’s good not to rule anything out as not being art because maybe people aren’t on the same page or wavelength with the artist. Perspective is so important in art.

  3. I think that not everything can be considered art. I agree with your point that a pile of fingernails is not art. I think that there needs to be some sort of guidelines as to how one defines art. I believe that are is subjective but one can defiantly not call anything art. Something being “special” is in the eye of the artist but I think a third person must also have to view it as art as well. I feel that some people are too extreme in what they define art and there needs to be a certain structure as to the definition of art.

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