What is art - Essay Example

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To provide an accurate definition of art is a challenging task given that the realm encompasses diverse forms, genres, structures and expressions along a wide range of dimensions and cultural orientations…
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What is Art? To provide an accurate definition of art is a challenging task given that the realm encompasses diverse forms, genres, structures and expressions along a wide range of dimensions and cultural orientations. Scholars and art enthusiasts have provided diverse definitions of the term depending on the time frame. The Art Encyclopedia defined art as “created when an artist creates a beautiful object, or produces a stimulating experience that is considered by his audience to have artistic merit” (par. 1). It is interesting to note, though, that during the Classical Period, the definition of art focused more on the skill or craft, to wit: “the product of a body of knowledge, most often using a set of skills" (Art Encyclopedia: Classical, par. 1). Therefore, in addressing the question: what characteristics make something a work of art rather than a craft or something that is not art?, one needs to consider the innovative intent and creative expression of the artist for his artwork, as well as the meaning that it relays to the viewers. The values that go into shaping the definition of art center on aesthetic value, creative content, and the ability to give inspirational and stimulating meanings. The works of Joan Miro, regarded as the “greatest artists of the 20th century” (Joan Miro, 1) manifested characteristics of the art in terms of incorporating the elements of aesthetic value, creative contents through personal expression of talent in his works, mostly classified as abstract expressionism. The examples of Joan Miro’s paintings of Toledo and Rooster, as shown below, Joan Miro’s Painting of Toledo and Painting of Rooster (Joan Miro, 1). combine the creative interplay of colors, forms showcasing beauty and personal expression of creating the subject for his audience’s interpretation of meanings. As emphasized, Miro’s art works “concentrated his interest on the symbol, not giving too much importance to the representing theme, but to the way the symbol emerged as the piece of work” (Joan Miro: Bibliography, par. 6). The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York showcased a collection of art by Jeff Wall, another artist in contemporary times. The definition of art in modern times indicated that “the focus has shifted from artistic skill to the "meaning" of the work produced. In addition, "how" a work is "experienced" by spectators has become a critical component in its aesthetic value” (Art Encyclopedia: Postmodernism, par. 1). Jeff Wall clearly exemplifies creating modern art through personal interpretation and experience, as he was acknowledged to be “one of the most adventurous and inventive artists of his generation” (MOMA, 1). His depiction of Milk and In His Own Words, as shown below, contained the characteristics of leaving the spectators to find meaning and experience from his creative work. Jeff Wall: Milk and In His Own Words (MOMA, 1). The definition of art therefore clearly manifests the ability of artists’ to produce something that is regarded by viewers to stimulate experience, thought, insight, meaning beyond the artists’ skills and ability to express oneself through whatever medium deemed relevant at the time the art work is created. Works Cited Art Encyclopedia. Definition of Art. N.D. Web. 18 June 2011. Joan Miro. Biography. 2011. Web. 18 June 2011. <> ----------. Welcome to Joan Miro Art. 2011. Web. 18 June 2011. <> Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Jeff Wall. 2007. Web. 18 June 2011. <>Read More
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