"Art is a
the artist produces it for himself."
(Tristan Tzara - Dada Manifesto 1918)
Most definitions of art are in a similar vein. In
fact determining the definition of art is as difficult and subjective as with the
definition of any creative action.
Most dictionaries describe art in an aesthetic way:
"The production or expression of what is beautiful,
appealing, or of more than ordinary significance."
So what constitutes a good piece of art?
"Anything that is the product of creativity."
"A product of creativity that communicates something, causes the viewer to question,
and evokes an emotional response."
Murano glass jewelry item?
All art, regardless of when it is created,
shares three common characteristics.
first attribute of art is that it enhances the existence of the
people who create it. Some of the first artistic expressions we have are primitive
cave paintings. Even though these cave paintings depict images of animals moving across
the open plains, the true meanings of these original drawings have been lost over time. In
short, we have no way of knowing what these pieces meant to the actual artists who lived
in the South of France a million or so years ago...
even though there are differing theories over the true meaning of these original pictures,
anthropologists, archeologists, and art historians have all agreed that these pieces were
created to show the connection between humans and the world around them. Whether these
images were originally meant to capture the spirit of the animal, assist early humans in
hunting, or appease the spirit of the surrounding beasts, we can be certain that through
art, these first beings on earth were able to enhance their own lives through creative
second function of art is that it strives to express the human
experience. Art is the tool with which humans are able to capture the universal
mortal experience. All humans share similar experiences, emotions, and feelings, but only
a few blessed individuals are able to express these important occurrences. By using
physical objects, images, and drawings, humans are given an effective method of sharing
their view and connection to the metaphysical world. In other words, art gives people a
tangible way of expressing abstract ideas and emotions. Without art, many of us might
never understand the meaning and value of life that other are able to see and feel.
last basic characteristic of art is that it intrigues and inspires
the people who view it. As humans, we are captivated by cave paintings,
hieroglyphics, and frescoes. Their enduring legacy inspires us to revisit the time and
culture of the past and to continue listening for the voice in our own world. More simply
put, art not only educates us about our past, but also motivates us to create our future.
What is art?
art is a universal language,
art is an opportunity,
art is as old as people,
art is a way that people express themselves,
art is a way to connect imagination and materials,
art adds new dimensions to our world,
art invites us to think in new ways,
art gives hope and opens possibilities,
art can lift us above the ordinary,
art has power to open windows on the world,
art is all around us
Claes Oldenburg, 1975
Why art is so valuable?
assessing the value of a piece of art is a highly subjective process, the quality of the
work itself sets the standard. Such factors as originality, creative vision, unity of
composition, and skill are the most important criteria, but a variety of other factors are
also considered when taking a measurement of worth. These include:
- The commercial success of prior works by the same artist. High demand
or short supply for an artist's work tends to raise its price.
- A comparison to works of comparable size and medium by other artists.
In contemporary art, large works, by virtue of the materials and time needed to create
them, are often more highly priced than small works by the same artist.
- Education and achievements. A resume demonstrating extensive
training, awards, and museum and other public exhibitions impacts the worth of an artist's
our consumer society, it can be difficult to embrace the idea that artwork is not a
product. Unlike an automobile or a pair of pants, the materials and labor used to make a
piece of art rarely factor into an equation of worth. Moreover, money is almost never the
primary motivating factor for serious artists. Most create their art simply because they
feel compelled to do so. Considering that each single piece of art embodies the sum total
of an artist's experience, education, perceptions, training, and sensibilities - the price
attached to the work is almost always modest in return.
Italian Paintings and