Art refers to a diverse range of human activities, creations, and expressions that are appealing to the senses or emotions of a human individual. It is most often used to refer to the visual arts, such as painting, sculpture, and printmaking. However, it can also be applied to forms that stimulate the other senses, such as music, an auditory art.
Common belief is that art is only considered art when it is on canvas; however, art is the title given to a diverse range of creative expression and can be shown in many different ways. In the sense of artistic production, the most obvious examples would be through painting, drawing or even photography; and in a more physical direction, sculpture and architecture. Each area of creativity is vastly different; however, they all share a mutual purpose—a form of expression, to make it a memorable experience, drawing the attention, and provoking questions and criticism.
Art usually implies no function other than to convey or communicate an idea. It is a difficult subject, because people want to understand the intention of the artist and when they do not they might come to the conclusion that it is not art. One comes to ask himself whether art is made by the artist alone or also by the beholder in a way. It requires the ability to suspend reality and trust one’s intuition; to take courage to “understand” amongst concrete thinkers.
Art is form and content. Form consists of the elements of art, the principles of design and the actual materials that the artist has used. Content, on the other hand, is what the artist means to portray, what the artist actually did portray and how we react to both the intended and actual messages. Additionally, it includes ways in which a work was influenced—by religion, or politics or society in general—at the time it was created.
When we talk about art, we refer to different “aesthetic views”; about these differences in taste. An aesthetic view is an idea or school of thought on what is most important in an artwork. There are three types of views: subject, composition, and content. A work’s subject is an image viewers can easily identify. The composition is the way the principles are used to organize the elements of art. Content in an artwork refers to the message, idea, or feeling expressed by a work of art; it is believed that expression is most important in an artwork.
Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy that considers art. It is a branch of philosophy that examines the nature of art and our experience of it; our perception by means of the senses. The philosophy of art is basic, since the aesthetic appreciation of anything that is not art is the appreciation of it as if it were art. It represents the aesthetic appreciation of nature as essentially informed by ideas intrinsic to the appreciation of art, such as style, reference, and the expression of psychological states. But in order for that curious feeling, the experience of the sublime, to be aesthetic, or for you to delight in the beauty of a flower, is unnecessary for you to imagine these natural objects as being works of art. In fact, your appreciation of them is determined by their lack of features specific to works of art and, perhaps, also by their possession of features available only to aspects of nature.
Although the definition of art is not a definition as such, but more of personal preference and interpretation, it can be considered art not for the reason that it must be appreciated for the skills of the artist in its aesthetic value and meaning.
Appreciating, understanding, and discerning the content and meaning of what is painted is entirely up to the viewer because it is impossible to discern what the artist had in mind. Just because an artist has a certain background, upbringing, ethnicity, or experience does not mean that everything he does is tempered by those factors. The artist’s creativity is conveyed in drawing out an emotion or an interpretation from the viewer. If this interpretation differs from what was intended by the artist (if, indeed, anything he intended anything), this in no way invalidates the interpretation placed on the work by any individual viewer.
When it comes to art, perfection is dull. The observer should see what moved the artist to create the painting. Art has flaws; it should be human. Certain properties such as composition, color, and technique will attract the viewer. Then it is up to the artist’s imagination to make the work compelling. Skill alone will not create art. Great art and poor art have little separating them. Artists cannot be timid about their work. Creating original works of art is an exploration. It doesn’t always work. Every ruined piece is a stepping-stone to great art.
Art is usually about self-expression because the artist feels strongly enough about what they are doing to try and put it into a form that they, and others, can come to terms with. This product of their self-expression can help others because there will always be people who feel the same way but they cannot express it themselves. These people will identify with the artist and draw encouragement, purpose, and excitement about the thing expressed.
One of the functions of the artist is to make a statement of some kind. It may be a simple statement, the beauty of the landscape, for example.
Everything is art. It does not have to represent anything, or tell us anything; an artist can express himself just solely for the purpose of feeling it. Art can convey the soul of the artist. It leaves so much to the spectator that there can be a union of spirits. It stimulates different parts of our brains to make us laugh or incite us to riot, with a whole gamut of emotions in between. Art gives us a way to be creative and express ourselves. It is such a large part of our everyday lives that we may hardly even stop to think about it.
Both works of art and other objects can possess specifically aesthetic properties, such as beauty and gracefulness. They will also possess properties that are not specifically aesthetic, such as size and shape. And they will be susceptible of aesthetic and non-aesthetic appreciation, and subject to aesthetic and non-aesthetic judgments. Art is subjective; it means something different to every single person on earth.
An object’s beauty would appear to be a relational, mind-dependent property—it possesses in virtue of its capacity to affect observers in a certain manner. We are presented a conception of an aesthetic judgment as judgment that must be founded on a feeling of pleasure or displeasure; insisted that a pure aesthetic judgment about an object is one that is unaffected by any concepts under which the object might be seen; and tried to show that the implicit claim of such a judgment to be valid for everyone is justified.
It is a general truth about the various arts, rather than one special to expression, that what can be achieved within an art is determined by the nature of the medium the art is based on. Accordingly, an adequate philosophy of art must investigate the variety of such media and elucidate the peculiar advantages they offer and the limitations they impose.
The value of art, then, is one with the value of empathy. The truth is complex; art is both useless in a functional sense, and also the most important human activity. Art can act as a means to some special kind of knowledge. It may give insight into the human condition. It relates to science and religion. It serves as a tool of education, indoctrination, or enculturation. Art makes us more moral; it uplifts us spiritually. Art is politics by other means. Art has the value of allowing emotional release. In any case, the value of art may determine the suitability of an art form.