What is Art?

May 25th, 2012

What is Art?

The question of what is art has been debated and pondered over by many thinkers and philosophers of the past, from Aristotle who says art is imitation of the natural world, to Plato who was threatened by the power of art and felt it should be regulated, and Leo Tolstoy who has dedicated a whole book on the subject entitled “What is Art”.

So what is Art? We have yet to come up with a concrete description of how to define what it is. Some think art is beauty and absolute truth, others believe it is an expression or reflection of the outer world thru inner introspection, and still yet those who think art is entertainment or a form of communication.

One thing we can agree upon. Art is creation, and imagination of the human mind at work. It is all that can be seen and touched with hands, that which can move our thoughts, or play the strings of our heart.

Art, like any other field has moved thru many stages throughout the history of humanity, and as such has been shaped by the many hands and sometimes great minds that have changed its path. Therefore it is not a fixed point, it is forever changing clay that is always being molded by the creative human mind.  As we move forward through the chapters of humanity, we shape art, as it shapes and molds us, our society, and the way we think, and view our world of the past and future and experience our present.

Art is all that is around us, but the finer art as it has been defined by scholars, comprises of only emotive and performing arts, such as theater, dance, film, photography, paintings, music, writing and so forth.  Fine Arts when done well, and under an expert’s hands has the power to move us, inspire us, and shape our mind, or show us the true essence of that which we couldn’t otherwise see. Now as to what is good art and what is bad art … well that is an entirely different question and perhaps a whole other discussion.

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