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Thread: What is Art?

  1. #1
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    What is Art?

    The following is quoted from the Oxford Enlish Dictionary (Online version)...

    8. a. The expression or application of creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting, drawing, or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Also: such works themselves considered collectively. Cf. a work of art at WORK n. 14.
    Although this is the most usual modern sense of art when used without any qualification, it has not been found in English dictionaries until the 19th cent. Before then, it seems to have been used chiefly by painters and writers on painting.
    The unmodified mass noun it is normally understood as referring to the visual arts; however, it may sometimes to extended to include music, literature, dance, drama, etc., though the plural form arts (see sense 7) is frequently used to indicate a broader range of creative activities.
    Various styles of art are distinguished by descriptive nouns and adjectives identifying location, function, medium, object, etc.: body, cave, clip-, computer, folk-, high, op, performance art, etc.; modern, New, nouveau art, etc. (see the first element); see also ABSTRACT adj. 4d and REPRESENTATIONAL adj. 3.


    It might be of interest to to receive alternative definitions (for Art) from other English language dictionaries (and not excluding other languages / perhaps you might translate?)

  2. #2
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    That is a very responsible opening post on a topic I usually consider the equivalent of tossing a weasel in the henhouse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Docsmith626 View Post
    That is a very responsible opening post on a topic I usually consider the equivalent of tossing a weasel in the henhouse.
    Only one weasel, Doc?

    (IMHO, it's more like a whole boogle of weasels! )

    And to get back on topic, I'd say art is a communication, an expression by the artist either for themself and/or for an audience. It can inspire, comfort, shock, reveal new realities, be damn funny, or whatever. The medium doesn't matter. It also doesn't matter if everyone likes the work.

    Cheers

    Doug
    Last edited by Doug B; 12-07-2009 at 05:40 PM.

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    Art is the "action" of being creative!

    Judith
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    Art is everything you see around you.
    Art is beauty, in the simplest of things.
    Art is the breathtaking, mind-boggling, splashes of colour in everyday life.
    Art can be anything, as long as the artist wishes it to be.
    Art is beauty.
    Art is creativity.
    Art is the language of the heart, the soul, the mind.
    Art is magnificent, breathtaking, confusing, beautiful, simple, intricate...
    Art is everything, and everything is art.

    ..Well, that's my opinion.

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    Art is in the eye of the beholder. It is expressed by the creative artist in all forms and is not always seen as the artist has intended it to or created it as. The different mediums of art are indeed increasing with the HD digital world as we all are experiencing. SOmewhat off topic ;;My question is; if you copy something (digitally) and use even a part of it, is that your art creation even though you have changed the subject with your own theme? I think that it is illegal to use any portion of someone elses art without their written permission. Even photos unless of course the art is released to the public domain without any copyright attached. What are your thoughts on this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbyray View Post
    Art is in the eye of the beholder. It is expressed by the creative artist in all forms and is not always seen as the artist has intended it to or created it as. The different mediums of art are indeed increasing with the HD digital world as we all are experiencing. SOmewhat off topic ;;My question is; if you copy something (digitally) and use even a part of it, is that your art creation even though you have changed the subject with your own theme? I think that it is illegal to use any portion of someone elses art without their written permission. Even photos unless of course the art is released to the public domain without any copyright attached. What are your thoughts on this?
    @ Bobbyray: Copyrightwise you are correct (it is illegal) - but artwise not necessarily - here are at least two examples:

    1) The german painter Max Ernst used applied and fine art clippings to compose his collages, for which he was quite famous. I'm quite certain he didn't have written permission to use each and every one of these clippings - but - each of these clippings received more public recognition in the context of an Ernst collage than any of the original authors had achieved.

    2) In the 1980-ies there was a short-lived "fine-art" movement called "Iterativism", which had the specific goal of copying others artists artwork, but defined the result as an artwork by itself. At the time these works had really high auction gains and the movement was fully supported by important art-critics.

    @ the author this thread: There never will be any definition of art which can fully cover the scope of all artistic evolution - what you will find in any dictionary will only be a more or less decent attempt.

    Regards

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    I don't think art is merely a collection of creative thoughts whether they be imitating, imagining or even the product of such thoughts. Art is really the abilities shown in any work which follows these creative mind processes. Thus each person perceives art in a purely personal way. And we are all enlightened (or dismayed) by the results.

    Marion

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    Art is a form of human communication where the conveyed message is not utilitarian.

    Think about it. This is the only way to tell what is art from what is not, otherwise you end up with intentionally twisted cases like "everything is art" (if it is, I call dibs to copyright the moon) and "art is whatever is shown in art gallery" (I am too late to call dibs here, Picasso had killed this idea and Duchamp drove the last nail into its coffin). It also allows to have at least some sort of objective judgment on art's quality: begin with the questions "what message does this convey?" and "how successfully does it convey its message?", and bingo.

    We also have a distinction based on the immediacy, between performance arts (which do not have a carrier medium, and have to be performed by a human being; those are typically stretched in time - dance, song, music) and objective arts (which capture the message in a crafted object; those are typically fixed in space - sculpture, imagery, ). There is also a middle ground of the performance recordings and scripts which capture performances in material objects, and the narrative arts which sit between the performance and objective arts: literature, theatre, comics, cinema. And of course, we have mixes of everything.

    It all still is a matter of conveying some message that is not utilitarian. In the simplest cases the message is merely emotional, and sensual stimulation is limited, but it can grow more and more complex until we get whole sequences of multi-faceted emotional and mental manipulation conveyed in both time and space, targeting multiple senses at once, when the artwork provides a complete surrogate experience and even context for the recipient to enjoy. The spectrum is great.

    We here occupy the corner of the spectrum in which our art is objective, fixed in space, and stimulates the various aspects of visual perception to convey its message. Hurray for visual arts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Art is a form of human communication where the conveyed message is not utilitarian.


    So illustrating an advertisement for a McDonald's ad is not art? (As some would try and justify?)

    Cheers

    Doug

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