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What is Art?


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Has anyone a succinct definition for what is called Art?

 

I have been wondering whether art is an attempt to express ones observations and feelings about one's social  environment  in as unfiltered a way as possible -using whatever medium comes to hand.

 

Has anyone any other ideas? (is mine too obvious and catch all?)

 

(Is it  even possible to be succinct about the subject ?)

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Art is a created piece or experience that causes us to feel something new or see/consider the world in new ways.

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I think art is a means to abstract elements of ones subjective experiences and observations in a novel way. It distinguishes from literal and accurate descriptions or works  that attempt to convey the world as might be agreed by multiple observers.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Genady said:

I do. It is the stuff in art museums and alike.

Is that just meant to be cynical?

"Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues"

 

5 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

I think art is a means to abstract elements of ones subjective experiences and observations in a novel way. It distinguishes from literal and accurate descriptions or works  that attempt to convey the world as might be agreed by multiple observers.

Was Shakespeare an artist in the medium of language then?

Edited by geordief
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23 minutes ago, geordief said:

Is that just meant to be cynical?

No. It meant to say, that it is determined by society.

You mean Art with the capital A, right?

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Quote

Art is generally understood as any activity or product done by people with a communicative or aesthetic purpose—something that expresses an idea, an emotion or, more generally, a world view. It is a component of culture, reflecting economic and social substrates in its design.

It's any original human-made thing that is intended, not to serve a practical function, but to engage an audience is sensory, emotional and imaginative dialogue with the artist, and thereby alter their view of the world. 

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17 minutes ago, Genady said:

No. It meant to say, that it is determined by society.

You mean Art with the capital A, right?

Not sure what the capital A would stand for but can "society " have propreital rights on what  might be considered "art"?

 

I mean ,look at Prince Andrew.He was considered.by some  (never by me ) to exemplify virtues in British Society,until his true character was held up to the light.

 

Not the same with Art in the museums?Not just a case of the Emperor wearing transparent clothes?

 

Can we make a distinction between art that is a function of living an expressive life and art that is  a merchandise  with all the attendant trappings?

Or are they the same thing?

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42 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

It's any original human-made thing that is intended, not to serve a practical function, but to engage an audience is sensory, emotional and imaginative dialogue with the artist, and thereby alter their view of the world. 

image.png.8e0dc18b8b0584a5a84e606a08e0b571.png

image.png.7110f33da1ef5bdda262f318c24d50f6.png

image.png.9194b7820b713acf751751b01a47eb8a.png

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, geordief said:

Not sure what the capital A would stand for but can "society " have propreital rights on what  might be considered "art"?

 

I mean ,look at Prince Andrew.He was considered.by some  (never by me ) to exemplify virtues in British Society,until his true character was held up to the light.

 

Not the same with Art in the museums?Not just a case of the Emperor wearing transparent clothes?

 

Can we make a distinction between art that is a function of living an expressive life and art that is  a merchandise  with all the attendant trappings?

Or are they the same thing?

Art with the capital A as oppose to art in, e.g. "arts and crafts".

Perhaps, I used a wrong word, society. What I try to say is that it is determined socially if a piece is Art or not. The most clear determination is when it is exhibited as Art.

IOW, it is not determined by an artist or by a piece, but by its social effect.

Edited by Genady
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42 minutes ago, Genady said:

Art with the capital A as oppose to art in, e.g. "arts and crafts".

I don't see an opposition. Some people put the capital for emphasis, because they think fine arts are more significant than crafts; some do it as mere affectation, or they think they're supposed to. It's completely unnecessary. There is no verdict from "society". There are only people who like things, hate things, are shocked by things, are transported and inspired by things, talk about things and criticize things. Art survives and performs a service as long as people are interested in it. 

1 hour ago, geordief said:

mean ,look at Prince Andrew.He was considered.by some  (never by me ) to exemplify virtues in British Society,until his true character was held up to the light

is that in any way relevant to Picasso, Beethoven and Rodin? 

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6 hours ago, zapatos said:

image.png.8e0dc18b8b0584a5a84e606a08e0b571.png

image.png.7110f33da1ef5bdda262f318c24d50f6.png

image.png.9194b7820b713acf751751b01a47eb8a.png

 

7 hours ago, Peterkin said:

It's any original human-made thing that is intended, not to serve a practical function, but to engage an audience is sensory, emotional and imaginative dialogue with the artist, and thereby alter their view of the world. 

How about this?: 

It's any original human-made thing that is intended, not necessarily to serve a practical function, but to engage an audience is sensory, emotional and imaginative dialogue with the artist, and thereby alter their view of the world. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Some people put the capital for emphasis, because they think fine arts are more significant than crafts

I think so, too.

6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

There is no verdict from "society".

I think there is.

6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

people who like things, hate things, are shocked by things, are transported and inspired by things, talk about things and criticize things. Art survives and performs a service as long as people are interested in it. 

 These are components of what I call, social effect:

6 hours ago, Genady said:

it is not determined by an artist or by a piece, but by its social effect.

 

13 minutes ago, joigus said:

 

How about this?: 

It's any original human-made thing that is intended, not necessarily to serve a practical function, but to engage an audience is sensory, emotional and imaginative dialogue with the artist, and thereby alter their view of the world. 

Intended by whom?

I think, the "intended" is not necessary or sufficient. Instead it can just say, "human-made thing that engages an audience ..."

Edited by Genady
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Just now, joigus said:

By the artist(s), of course.

 

12 minutes ago, Genady said:

I think, the "intended" is not necessary or sufficient. Instead it can just say, "human-made thing that engages an audience ..."

 

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1 hour ago, joigus said:

You are a philosophical minimalist, @Genady. ;) 

I've been accused in this in real life, too :) 

The truth is, I don't like stuff. I like comfort.

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3 hours ago, joigus said:

t's any original human-made thing that is intended, not necessarily to serve a practical function, but to engage an audience is sensory, emotional and imaginative dialogue with the artist, and thereby alter their view of the world. 

That's exactly the kind of thing the Arts and Crafts movement was about. And that's why I don't hold with capitalizing non-functional fine art and sequestering it for exclusive domain of the wealthy collector or public museum. Artistry can show up anywhere, in any form - and it's not all good. Bad art usually doesn't survive a brief fad; good art is preserved by the people it's handed down to - whether it's in the form a religious fresco, a copper necklace or an olive oil jar. I suppose that's the "verdict of society"  - the longevity of an item. 

 

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1 hour ago, Genady said:

I've been accused in this in real life, too :) 

The truth is, I don't like stuff. I like comfort.

OK, you sit here.

Mid-century Fabric Upholstered Arm Chair, Dining Chair, Beige, Set Of 1

But this looks more comfortable, and it evokes a lot of emotion as well. 

17 Most Artistic Chairs in the World – Small Designs Magazine

 

For me, art is in the imaginative details. It's not a universal thing, no single piece of artwork is going to be perceived the same way by all. Art grips the individual and attempts to point out a perspective, and we can appreciate that or not.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Genady said:

I've been accused in this in real life, too :) 

The truth is, I don't like stuff. I like comfort.

You can do worse than being called a philosophical minimalist. :) The truth is I share your sentiments. Philosophy --the axiomatic approach-- has made my head spin in the past. I prefer hard-scientific, fact-based approaches. To a question such as 'what is art?', I think anthropology, paleoanthropology, and the like; have a lot to say about it. Also neuroscience. We cannot possibly understand what it is without understanding what paleolithic art was, as well as what it is that art does to our brains. What were those people trying to tell each other, themselves, or us? What does art do to our brains?

Edited by joigus
minor correction
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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

OK, you sit here.

Mid-century Fabric Upholstered Arm Chair, Dining Chair, Beige, Set Of 1

But this looks more comfortable, and it evokes a lot of emotion as well. 

17 Most Artistic Chairs in the World – Small Designs Magazine

 

For me, art is in the imaginative details. It's not a universal thing, no single piece of artwork is going to be perceived the same way by all. Art grips the individual and attempts to point out a perspective, and we can appreciate that or not.

That looks like a vaguely pornographic cat-toy. (Yes, dear, horizontal stripes do make you look fat.)

I would not sit in it, because there is no way in hell I could stand back up.

It's a thing, it's functional, it's artistic and it's entertaining. It's probably also ridiculously expensive - but that's the effect, not of art but of fashion. 

34 minutes ago, TheVat said:

Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.

-- Bertolt Brecht

Not every artist had his subtlety.

It may come as no great shock that I'm more partial to Magritte.

Edited by Peterkin
change link, while i wasn't looking, they crammed it full of horrid adverts
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6 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

That looks like a vaguely pornographic cat-toy. (Yes, dear, horizontal stripes do make you look fat.)

I would not sit in it, because there is no way in hell I could stand back up.

 

Hehe.  I could stand back up, but why would I want to?

(If I sat on it, there would be three boobs on that chair)

 

 

Magritte fan, also.  I often like art that subverts itself.  Or knocks my brain sideways or some way orthogonal to the received wisdom.

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47 minutes ago, joigus said:

What does art do to our brains?

https://acrm.org/rehabilitation-medicine/how-the-brain-is-affected-by-art/#:~:text=There is increasing evidence in,also occur by experiencing art.

Quote

In a study conducted by Professor Semir Zeki, chair in neuroaesthetics at University College London, participants underwent brain scans while being shown images of paintings by major artists. The study found that when people viewed the art they thought was most beautiful, blood flow increased by as much as 10% to the reign of the brain associated with pleasure — the equivalent to looking at a loved one. 

I think we look at the world in ways limited by our own imaginations, and art is an attempt by the artist to show you a part of life in a way you haven't perceived it before.

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