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Post Reply What is Art?
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Posted 8/23/15 , edited 9/25/15
It's 11:50 as I write this so I haven't gotten to Furytime's (shoutout to him by the way, he has some great forum posts!!!) level of deep thought, but this is a topic I'm pretty interested in.

This topic is very broad and can be interpreted in many ways. I like to use definitions when I discuss topics like this so when I looked up the definition of art, this is what came up:

the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.


By this logic, everything is art, but this just doesn't seem right. How can everything be art? A phrase I heard from a friend a while back is "if everything is art, then nothing is art". This sounds similar to that phrase from The Incredibles "If everyone has superpowers, then no one has superpowers" and it kind of makes sense. Superpowers are supernatural and if everyone has superpowers, doesn't that make it natural? Translating it over to art, if everything is art, how do we distinguish which art is good?

Looking back at the definition, two parts really stick out.
First:

the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination

Like I said, this part suggests that everything can be art. It also states that it's human created works. This means that anything created by humans is art. This creates more questions like "what is considered creative skill or imagination?". Disregarding that question, again, it doesn't help in deciding what is art. It just narrows it down to what humans do, which is a start.

The next part:

to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
in a way narrows this even more by stating that art has to be appreciated for it's beauty or to have emotional power. This narrows what art is in a sense that something has to have beauty or create emotional power, but both of these things are very subjective. Obviously, many people wouldn't consider a phone art, but it follows the part of the definition that states that human creativity is used. Maybe, I'm looking at this incorrectly, but this still doesn't help to say what art is. Maybe the question should be, "Is anything art?" but that doesn't answer any questions either.

Like I said earlier, I like to follow definitions, but I personally consider few things art. Things that get me emotional, have beauty, or cause me to think in an intellectual manner are considered art to me, like the definition states, but I would like to add that art is subjective. I think art is something that personal and can be shared with others. Others may not consider it art, but you may see beauty in it.

What do you guys think? Discuss your ideas and try to help me come up with what art is! Thanks for reading and again, if you want similar topics, Furytime has some great forum posts! :)
Posted 8/23/15
art is whatever you think it can be
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Posted 8/23/15
I've always used the extremely circular definition: "Art is something that is labeled as art", because I always think about the example of a blank canvas. When does it cross the line from art supply to art itself? When somebody begins to label it as art.

I know that definition is terrible, but its the best I have.

As a side note, I do believe that anything can be art, and I don't think that dilutes the meaning of the word. The fact that art is so broadly defined does not prevent us from discussing the quality of art. If you choose to look at it from a purely subjective viewpoint, good art is art which makes you feel strong emotions.
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Posted 8/23/15
Art is something that can only be defined by the person who created it. If they put all their effort into it and can bring themselves to call it "art", then that's what it is. Nobody else can claim it's not.
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Posted 8/23/15

sundin13 wrote:

I've always used the extremely circular definition: "Art is something that is labeled as art", because I always think about the example of a blank canvas. When does it cross the line from art supply to art itself? When somebody begins to label it as art.

I know that definition is terrible, but its the best I have.

As a side note, I do believe that anything can be art, and I don't think that dilutes the meaning of the word. The fact that art is so broadly defined does not prevent us from discussing the quality of art. If you choose to look at it from a purely subjective viewpoint, good art is art which makes you feel strong emotions.


Yeah, I don't like when things have a circular train of thought, but sometimes it seems necessary. I put it in a subjective manner because looking at it in a technical manner didn't help to define what art is. I do think that what art is is subjective, but what is good art is even more subjective. That's another topic in itself,but I feel you nailed it on the head with good art is.
Posted 8/23/15 , edited 8/23/15
this is art

if it isn't

what is?



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Posted 8/23/15

kimchino wrote:

this is art

if it isn't

what is?





This is the most convincing argument yet! Art at its finest!!! XD
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Posted 8/23/15
the general consensus seems to be that art is subjective.
if art is good or not is also subjective.

just because someone calls something art doesn't mean i'll agree with them about that.
and just because some dipstick thinks a picasso or pollock is actually worth a million dollars doesn't mean i'll agree with them.
i most certainly wouldn't.

even in the case of a canvas painted white that sold for a lot of money because of a long essay the artist wrote about it's meaning and blah blah blah doesn't mean it's art. the essay had more meaning than the canvas. the canvas alone had no way of truly expressing any sort of meaning so all in all if it was supposed to be art i'd said it failed miserably.
Posted 8/23/15
Posted 8/23/15

kimchino wrote:

this is art

if it isn't

what is?





Posted 8/23/15
Art is subjective like you've said. That is what I believe. You said a phone might not be art. What about the person who designed the phone? The physical look of it. He probably thought it was a work of art. His own ideas transitioned to paper to real life in the form of a functioning device. For him it was probably a surreal experience the he calls art.

For me music is my art. I play guitar and I write music. I put myself into my guitar and just let it flow and write stuff. It's my way of portraying art. While it not be pure emotion, it's my art. Art can be anything that person mentally perceived and portrayed. It could be meaningless or it the art could be portrayed it in a way that makes you think. My friend as what I was typing and I said a post about art, and I said it was subjective and he wanted to know what I meant so this is what I told him. Music is my art, but somebodies art might simply be drawing or poetry. Joking with my friend I put something vulgar as the next example but I'll change it. Somebodies art might be destroying a building, destroying something. It's his way to portray his feelings or write down something even. Maybe like an artist who drops a bucket of paint multiple times on a canvas. He is portraying something in his own way. Art is really from the heart, and that is the beauty of it. You put what you portrayed out there and let others perceived as they will.

Oh and thanks for the shout out lol. That was surprising to see, pretty interesting thread too
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Posted 8/23/15 , edited 8/23/15

furytime wrote:

Art is subjective like you've said. That is what I believe. You said a phone might not be art. What about the person who designed the phone? The physical look of it. He probably thought it was a work of art. His own ideas transitioned to paper to real life in the form of a functioning device. For him it was probably a surreal experience the he calls art.

For me music is my art. I play guitar and I write music. I put myself into my guitar and just let it flow and write stuff. It's my way of portraying art. While it not be pure emotion, it's my art. Art can be anything that person mentally perceived and portrayed. It could be meaningless or it the art could be portrayed it in a way that makes you think. My friend as what I was typing and I said a post about art, and I said it was subjective and he wanted to know what I meant so this is what I told him. Music is my art, but somebodies art might simply be drawing or poetry. Joking with my friend I put something vulgar as the next example but I'll change it. Somebodies art might be destroying a building, destroying something. It's his way to portray his feelings or write down something even. Maybe like an artist who drops a bucket of paint multiple times on a canvas. He is portraying something in his own way. Art is really from the heart, and that is the beauty of it. You put what you portrayed out there and let others perceived as they will.

Oh and thanks for the shout out lol. That was surprising to see, pretty interesting thread too


1) I was saying that people may not consider a phone a piece of art, but it follows the definition of what art is so it is technically art.
2) i hadn't even touched things like music and video games and whether they are art or not. Again, both follow the definition, but since the definition has a lot of ideas that are subjective, certain music might not be considered art by some people.
3) no problem, i hoped i could create a topic that caused people to think on a deeper level like your threads. I think i achieved that, but it seems that everyone agrees that art is subjective. (Not a bad thing though)
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Posted 8/24/15

saksiss wrote:

Art is something that can only be defined by the person who created it. If they put all their effort into it and can bring themselves to call it "art", then that's what it is. Nobody else can claim it's not.


I think you have half the equation there and describe it perfectly. I think the second half is that art also is defined by those who witness it's creation or see beauty in it. I had a friend who could draw amazing things. He always said to him they looked like junk, but to myself and all who saw it being drawn, his art was a thing of beauty and magic. To us no matter how harsh he was on himself and his work, his drawings were indeed beautiful pieces of art.
Posted 8/24/15 , edited 8/24/15
Looking don't hurt me... lol -facepalm- gosh i'm so immature lol
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Posted 8/24/15
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