Tuesday, September 11, 2007
What is Art?
A girl I knew in high school told me stories of her aunt taking her to the art museums when she was little. Her aunt would make her go up to the work and ask aloud “But is it Art?“
What is art? That is the question. Art is everything and art is nothing; I don’t know if anyone has said that before sounds deep though. Now that I have made such a statement of specificity lets take a more semiotic approach. Webster’s dictionary defines art as 1. Human creativity 2.skill 3. Any specific skill or it’s application 4.any craft or profession, or it’s principles 5 the making or doing of things that have form and beauty; creative work. I should mention that my dictionary is from 1978 and not much help in clearing up this question of what art is. Lets take definition number 1 on human creativity that’s another very specific idea; human creativity that’s given us a lot of things including reality television and those little dogs whose heads bob up and down as your driving. Not to say I don’t find enjoyment in either of those things but is it art. Definition 5 implies that to be art something must be beautiful and I agree that a lot of art is beautiful but then again a lot of it isn’t or is it?
We’re not really getting a clearer idea of what art is just more questions; so lets see, I have a friend who is a sculptor; now here we go a sculptor one who makes sculpture so he must be an artist therefore what he does must be art. He even gets paid for his work as a sculptor; he sculpts cars for one of the big three in Detroit. So cars are art then, there are many beautiful cars in the world the 1969 Ferrari 250 Gt California comes to mind, it is so choice, a 1983 Honda civic wagon not so choice. So we’re back to a personal taste, ok I know few people I hope would chose the Honda over the Ferrari given the choice. There are also people who only consider a car as something to get you from one place to another; is art then what we personally find attractive or stimulating to our senses and emotions? Maybe that is what it all comes down to art is what we like; although I have another friend who likes movies but not films, I take his definition of a film to be a more artful movie. Guess that ruins the art is what we like theory. What I do know is that I was once told by one of my teachers that good art should ask questions not give answers.