Friday, January 29, 2010

My Definition of Art Reposted

A couple of my favorites:
The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and
Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in Rome

Art stimulates the mind and stirs emotion. It can express fantasy or a sense of reality. Art may organize, create order & harmony; or agitate with confusion, and disarray. Art can document events and memorialize experiences. (Like the stone age cave drawings of the Paleolithic period.) Art may reflect social and cultural norms, or give context of society at the time. Art may express a connection to or belief in a higher power or the bewilderment of nature, reproduction and creation itself. (Like the fertility sculptures.) Art can dispute injustice and heighten social awareness. Art may examine the commonplace or the exceptional. Art is an expression of some emotion or thought that the artist needs to express. We are taught from an early age that certain elements of art are required to be acceptable. Ask yourself a couple simple questions. Were you encouraged to color only between the lines? We're you influenced to color trees as green, or the sky in a shade of blue? The use of artistic elements can be predictable, or might even challenge a norm. However, I try to remind myself that everything around me is a work of art. Yes, I know our textbook, Art Through the Ages by Kleiner and Mamiya states earlier in Chapter 1 that "it must have been modified by human intervention beyond mere selection." In my own opinion it need not be intentional or representational. Whether created by man, or crafted by some almighty power above, or the evolution of time itself, a work of art is a process and a creation. However, I am particularly intrigued by man-made works of art as described in the text. Which is why I am excited to explore the theories of Art History. To explore the creative and expressive mind of mankind through art enlightens me and keeps me grounded. Experiencing art is an art in itself. The experience is usually a product of our education and past experience. No, let me correct that. Instead I suggest it is a result of our knowledge and past experience. I must acknowledge that I am influenced by a developing process. When I first view a work of art I try to open my mind to enlightenment, and close my mind to pre-conception. It can be a very difficult task. I like to take note of the initial emotion that stirs in me. Then I go with that initial emotion and take it all in. Next, I like to challenge myself to view the work from any other perspective. The perspective itself is not important, but to consider alternative possibilities is my goal. When I continue to view a work of art I then remind myself to reflect on elements of form, composition, material, technique, line, shape, value, color, texture, space , mass, scale, perspective, history, time and motion just as we are taught in Art Appreciation and the textbook. Finally, I usually come to a decision whether I "like" the work of art or merely appreciate the work of art. To contemplate the question of whether art should be intentional and representational to be considered art I would suggest the answer is No. Referring back to my earlier comment, I see art all around me. When we take the time to examine all of our senses of sight, sound, touch, and even taste and smell, the experience will stimulate some human emotion. We must merely take an extra moment to truly experience that emotion. Thus, take time to experience the art.

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