What Is Art?


The majority of people, if asked “what is art?” would typically answer a “painting” or a “sculpture”. They would not be wrong but perhaps they are a little naive to what art actually is. One definition of art is that it is the ‘expression or application of human creative skill and imagination’. So yes paintings and sculptures fit well into this category and artists may express their ‘creative skill and imagination’ in these forms. But art is much much more than a painting. Art could be everything, everywhere.

Lets just take the stereotypical form of art, for example a painting. When a person views the painting, they are expected to appreciate it for its beauty and emotional power. Think about the hard work and creativity that has gone into making that painting. This all makes art, ‘art’. So can we not look at a dance or a piece of music in the same way? The precision, attention to detail and most importantly the creativity that goes into making the dance or music is just the same as what goes into making a sculpture or a painting. Thus can we not all class it under the same umbrella?

So now look at the nearest table or the chair that you are sat on. Has someone not designed, sculpted and made it, therefore requiring creativity and craftsmanship? These are two objects that we take for granted because we just see them as something we sit or eat on. But these objects are art forms in their own right. You can apply this same principle to everything from your coffee cup, to your shoes, to a computer keyboard.

We are constantly surrounded by art in ways we do not even consider. Even when you are relaxing watching a film or reading a book you are appreciating and engaging in a piece of art.

Art sets us apart from any other mammal. When humans first evolved our brains were improved. This does not necessarily mean that we grew smarter than other animals but that we were able to think in other ways, for example we have the ability to see beauty and be creative. This creativity was first shown in very early humans who drew on cave walls. These first primitive drawings are expressions of stories and events. In the modern world we still express our thoughts and like to make statement, but instead of drawing in caves we paint our houses, wear outfits that reflect who we are, engage in different texts which are all forms of art.

Imagine a world without art. It seems almost impossible.

Source by Robert Harry Smith

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