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Fenn
12-16-2010, 05:49 PM
This is a question I have been studying a lot lately. Naturally, there is no one correct answer to this question, since many people will include/exclude different mediums or elements from art.

How do you define art? What does art mean to you? For me it is a means of creative expression, and a way of breaking the barrier of reality. Each work of art is its own world, one limited only by the artist.

Rio
12-16-2010, 06:32 PM
Art for me is anything that gives a strong impression to the viewer.

A very broad term but as it is, there are many types of art from dance, music, paintings, and so on so I feel that is the heart of what art is.

Hayashida
12-16-2010, 07:31 PM
I would say the definition varies from person to person, but it would be whatever a person finds visually appealing which was made by another person.
For example, one person might find a car, like, oh I dunno, a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa a beautiful piece of art, whereas someone else, probably a knob-head wouldn't think so.

butternut
12-17-2010, 03:07 AM
Not only visually appealing, but generally appealing to the person. Like a good piece of music could be art. basically the medium through which a person expresses something and that which creates an impact to the audience. or viewer.

Celestial-Fox
12-17-2010, 07:00 AM
I find things that are visually unappealing to be artful, though. Like Picasso, most definitely not my cup of tea, but art nonetheless. I think what art is has to do with the process, intent, and execution of the piece, but I'm not exactly sure in what specific ways.

Rubisko
12-17-2010, 07:29 AM
Sometimes I do stuff that's "visually appealing"; posters, webgraphics, folders... but I would never claim them to be art. I also don't call anything I've drawn or created as art. I refer to them simply as "drawing", "painting", "sculpture"...
So it's really the PROCESS of creation that is art. Think about it, it's easy to copy stuff, for example playing music that someone else made the tunes for, as long as you know the craft. But it's the process of creating something artistic that defines a person as an artist. (I know, copying is also a process of creation, but you should get my point :P)

Fenn
12-17-2010, 04:52 PM
Yeah, this is exactly what I had hoped to get. It's interesting; some people related it more to the emotions and expression others to the process, and others to the product.

Rio
12-18-2010, 10:38 AM
Maybe it's all three?

Fenn
12-18-2010, 07:08 PM
Totally could be. Wonder if we could merge all three into an inclusive definition...

butternut
12-19-2010, 12:40 AM
So, art is the process of expressing one's thoughts or mind, producing an awesome piece of work.
I'm not sure it conveys all the meaning, but just an effort..

Silent_Sovereign
12-20-2010, 11:03 PM
So, art is the process of expressing one's thoughts or mind, producing an awesome piece of work.
I'm not sure it conveys all the meaning, but just an effort..


I agree completely! Art is simply a manifestation of one's individual ideas and creativity. It is a presentation unique to them. Manga, Animation, Paintings, Drawings, Music, even a house are art simply because they were someone's expression.

pajamajam
12-21-2010, 01:22 AM
WHAT IS ART! BABY DON'T HURT ME, DON'T HURT ME, NO MORE.

I agree with Saphira for the most part, but there are things that happen without any human intervention at all but are still beautiful that I consider art. I can stare forever at rock formations that were built over millions of years by pressure and heat and all that junk and be completely amazed, but weren't created by any person. Unless of course you took HHGTG a little too seriously.

nextweek
12-21-2010, 01:51 AM
life.

everything around you.

butternut
12-21-2010, 02:28 AM
WHAT IS ART! BABY DON'T HURT ME, DON'T HURT ME, NO MORE.

I agree with Saphira for the most part, but there are things that happen without any human intervention at all but are still beautiful that I consider art. I can stare forever at rock formations that were built over millions of years by pressure and heat and all that junk and be completely amazed, but weren't created by any person. Unless of course you took HHGTG a little too seriously.


I totally agree with you. Nature is amazing, and people have mainly been influenced in their art by nature. It is beautiful and awesome and all, but is it Art? maybe, maybe not;probably depends on the person.
aarrrgghhh...this is getting complicated!

Silent_Sovereign
12-21-2010, 04:30 AM
I love complicated! It makes life all the more interesting! >;->

Fenn
12-22-2010, 10:15 AM
Art is one of the great ends of humanity (ends being purposes, final destinations).

Delphinus
01-04-2011, 05:36 PM
"All art is quite useless."
Art is a thing produced to be art. Art's primary function is to be art. Art is of no use to anybody, but everybody enjoys it.

Fenn
01-04-2011, 08:21 PM
"All art is quite useless."
Art is a thing produced to be art. Art's primary function is to be art. Art is of no use to anybody, but everybody enjoys it.

Huh???

What about activist artists? I wouldn't say useless, although it isn't essential to human survival.

Rio
01-05-2011, 11:44 AM
I wouldn't say useless, although it isn't essential to human survival.

I think there would be people out there who would disagree. I've heard about people who wouldn't have been here today if it weren't for music. People's words, whether from music, literature, movies, and so on can inspire and bring a lot of emotions forward. This can lead to new things and yes, even something basic as survival (I'm not alone in my pain, etc).

Fenn
01-05-2011, 05:46 PM
I think there would be people out there who would disagree. I've heard about people who wouldn't have been here today if it weren't for music. People's words, whether from music, literature, movies, and so on can inspire and bring a lot of emotions forward. This can lead to new things and yes, even something basic as survival (I'm not alone in my pain, etc).

True, there are individuals who rely on it. But as a species, we could probably exist without art (Granted we naturally developed art incredibly soon due to our natures). But there's a difference between art and, say, food.

Sawyer
01-05-2011, 06:10 PM
Art: the outward expression of human creativity.

Rio
01-06-2011, 06:36 PM
Of course, it's not one of the basic essentials to survival but I think it's one of the secondary one's like entertainment and an outlet to creativity. I think the human species would be more messed up today if we can't de-stress in this day and age.

Alexander_Hamilton
01-06-2011, 10:07 PM
I prefer not to worry too much about the definition of art. It's so weird and subjective I just don't bother trying to get specific.

Delphinus
01-07-2011, 03:42 PM
Of course, it's not one of the basic essentials to survival but I think it's one of the secondary one's like entertainment and an outlet to creativity. I think the human species would be more messed up today if we can't de-stress in this day and age.
The production of art is psychologically necessary, sure. But is art itself necessary, or is the act of creation the important part?

Fenn
01-09-2011, 12:21 PM
The production of art is psychologically necessary, sure. But is art itself necessary, or is the act of creation the important part?

Well...if we include the performing arts then can't we say any form of communication is art? Some definitions of art include words (spoken and written) and physical gestures. We would certainly not survive without communication.

butternut
01-09-2011, 02:04 PM
Well...if we include the performing arts then can't we say any form of communication is art? Some definitions of art include words (spoken and written) and physical gestures. We would certainly not survive without communication.

no, we would not survive without communication. But communication could even be bland, straightforward and blunt, just getting the point across. There is no use of figures of speech in writing, or any plays or anything at all.
The whole point of creating those beautiful expressions is to create an impact in the receiver's mind. For example, if you take a play about the life of a person, or a simpler one, a social cause : the play creates a much more impact and lasting impression than reading the moral in newspaper-print. Same goes with posters, or songs. That's the reason most people go for 'creativity' and 'innovation'.

The_shaman
01-09-2011, 10:25 PM
This is a question I have been studying a lot lately. Naturally, there is no one correct answer to this question, since many people will include/exclude different mediums or elements from art.

How do you define art? What does art mean to you? For me it is a means of creative expression, and a way of breaking the barrier of reality. Each work of art is its own world, one limited only by the artist.
Not really this is actually answered in art appreciation classes. Art is a form of communication, whether you understand what is being communicated to you naturally or mechanically, its communicating something to you. This is actually something I truly didn't understand until recently, and with it came a new found respect for cubism, abstraction, and fauvism.

violin
01-09-2011, 10:30 PM
In my native language the word art also means: mastery, skill, proficincy, science, cleverness... At school we had a lot of classes that was named as Arts like: Drawing Arts, Music Arts, Cooking Arts, Technical Arts. Later they combined Music and Drawing into just Arts, removed Cooking and renamed Technical Art to "Work and Technology".
But when someone say the word art to me I aways think of Paintings, Sculptures and the process of creating such.
I'm an engineer and when students in different majors create a picture, model of a device people call that art. But when I create it in away that it's real and working - it is considert an invetion or just a device. Maybe in art there are no limits while when I design something I have to consider and obey many things and/or laws. Like for example: the size of the components, the number of wires I need, the space I can have between them in a way that they won't interfere, the amount of curent I can use, the voltage I need, how much will the battery last if I use this and that...
In that case maybe art is something coming from imagination and used only for entertainment and informative purposes.

But will you consider my device a work of art?
http://blog.violin-bg.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/DSC00474_thumb.jpg
I went from imagination(what I want to create and how I want it) to Desining 3D Models, drawings of it. After that altering my Models and drawings so I could make it work. Experimenting and a lot of calculations and hours of thinking. Assembly and as final step writing software....And oh what joy it is to see it wokring for the first time :rolleyes:
http://blog.violin-bg.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/06072010242_thumb.jpg
Do I consider this art - no, but I think there is some art in the process itself.

I'm sorry for my long post. Just wanted to figure out what art is for me and share my thoughts with you.

The_shaman
01-10-2011, 02:24 PM
In my native language the word art also means: mastery, skill, proficincy, science, cleverness... At school we had a lot of classes that was named as Arts like: Drawing Arts, Music Arts, Cooking Arts, Technical Arts. Later they combined Music and Drawing into just Arts, removed Cooking and renamed Technical Art to "Work and Technology".
But when someone say the word art to me I aways think of Paintings, Sculptures and the process of creating such.
I'm an engineer and when students in different majors create a picture, model of a device people call that art. But when I create it in away that it's real and working - it is considert an invetion or just a device. Maybe in art there are no limits while when I design something I have to consider and obey many things and/or laws. Like for example: the size of the components, the number of wires I need, the space I can have between them in a way that they won't interfere, the amount of curent I can use, the voltage I need, how much will the battery last if I use this and that...
In that case maybe art is something coming from imagination and used only for entertainment and informative purposes.

But will you consider my device a work of art?
http://blog.violin-bg.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/DSC00474_thumb.jpg
I went from imagination(what I want to create and how I want it) to Desining 3D Models, drawings of it. After that altering my Models and drawings so I could make it work. Experimenting and a lot of calculations and hours of thinking. Assembly and as final step writing software....And oh what joy it is to see it wokring for the first time :rolleyes:
http://blog.violin-bg.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/06072010242_thumb.jpg
Do I consider this art - no, but I think there is some art in the process itself.

I'm sorry for my long post. Just wanted to figure out what art is for me and share my thoughts with you.
Actually yes this is art whether you think it is or know it is, there is still a element of design to it which makes it such.

Fenn
01-10-2011, 08:25 PM
Can't see the pics :(

Byakuran
01-10-2011, 10:24 PM
art for me is beauty. And beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. What means that is different for all of us i guess D:
Beauty for me differs all the time from emotion knowledge stuff like that >_>

What i think important is what art is for YOU and describe how you experience it.

Evil_Cake
01-11-2011, 12:26 AM
if u point at it and say its art then it is art now

Delphinus
01-11-2011, 05:18 AM
cake u r a work of art

Evil_Cake
01-11-2011, 02:40 PM
:o /

Fenn
01-11-2011, 04:59 PM
Such profound thoughts, Cake.

CypressDahlia
01-20-2011, 07:41 AM
This is kind of a tough one. Art is anything someone appreciates as art, though, really. It's more about viewer appreciation than the piece itself.

PERSONALLY, Art for me lies in being self expressive, but is also based on some degree of skill. I don't think something that is done without a decent amount of practice, effort and subsequent ability can be considered art as it hasn't been honed in any way. It's just stuff that anyone can make. Not including skill as a criterion when defining art would make every layman an artist, and defeat the purpose of having the title of "artist" altogether.

M3S1H
01-21-2011, 05:54 AM
Actually, art is a paradox. Art is different to every single viewer. Ever heard of abstract art? It challenges people into finding new views of art. Now when you apply this to real life, you get a paradox. So what you just asked me is art - every person has different views of art, and you did a pretty good job of showing that.

Electric_Nomad
01-21-2011, 07:23 AM
Art, to me, is self-exploration an self-expression; a progressing work of art is like a pilgrimage -- a pilgrimage to the inner gates of oneself.

CypressDahlia
01-21-2011, 10:05 AM
I guess a more pertinent question would be: "What is an artist?"

Because obviously there are people who are artists, and people who aren't, right? If it's as entirely subjective as we'd like to think, there would be no difference but we definitely define the two separately, even subconsciously.

ClockHand
01-21-2011, 11:00 AM
Art is what moves the watcher.

The question is more complex than just thinking "What is art" in general, because art has not only has different meanings for the people who appreciate it, but also for the "artist".

For my as a appreciater is what moves me inside, what make me discuss something (technique, concept, theory, emotion, etcetera). But as a "artist" is a challenge, is making a medium of worked symbols to be appreciated.

Delphinus
01-21-2011, 12:33 PM
I'd argue there are two dimensions to art: the aesthetic (how attractive the piece is) and the intellectual (the subtext, what the symbols represent, et cetera). Now, in my opinion, the aesthetic and the intellectual dimensions of a piece should be given equal consideration because they both form an important part of the viewing experience. For example, a piece created solely as advertising for a video game is unlikely to be labelled a work of art in and of itself, no matter its beauty; it lacks the intellectual dimension and focuses purely on the aesthetic. On the other hand, a work of abstract art could be considered to be aesthetically dull and yet have a great weight of intellectual thought underpinning its layout and selection of elements. Personally, I think both the aesthetic and the intellectual dimensions require work, and so I would volunteer the works of the Old Masters as the greatest works ever created.

CypressDahlia
01-21-2011, 02:59 PM
Well, Delphinus. I would argue that a lot of modern artwork displays the same level of "artists' intuition" and ingenuity that a lot of the old masters' work did. If you check out people like Craig Mullins (http://www.goodbrush.com/) and Tinfoil (http://conceptart.org/?artist=Tinfoil), it's apparent that they have extreme amounts of knowledge in all the technical, presentational and compositional aspects of art. It's just that we're less inclined to notice these things because their artwork, in application (ie. games, advertisements), is not presented in a way that would make us think about it. They're presented in a non-intellectual way, therefore not inspiring people to take an intellectual approach to them. Whereas a nicely framed oil painting at the far end of a high-end art exhibit drowned in spotlights basically begs for you to stand in front of it and stare.

Whereas both, aesthetically and intellectually, are equal, the way modern artwork is presented as opposed to classical artwork doesn't really beg an intellectual approach to it, therefore is seemingly shallow in comparison.

GunZet
01-21-2011, 05:53 PM
Art is something that you think looks cool/amazing. There's a simple explanation that solves all.

jubeh
01-21-2011, 06:05 PM
Let me point out that I am not participating in this thread because Im am smarter than that.

But the poster above me seriously thinks you can sum up centuries of arguments with one sentence.

What're you blackmage or something?

GunZet
01-21-2011, 06:17 PM
Isn't art in the eye of the beholder though bro?
You look at a giant ball of scrap and say it's scrap.
Someone else sees it as this awesome work of art.

So uh...yea man, it's something you think looks cool. Then again, I could be/am wrong and would offer up a paragraph of what my opinion is...but I'm too lazy for that. So I give this instead.

I hate getting too deep into the stuff.

*edit: Disregard what I have said...Davinci is looking down on me in shame now. xD.

Fenn
01-21-2011, 08:59 PM
Let me point out that I am not participating in this thread because Im am smarter than that.

It's not supposed to be a controversial topic. There is literally nothing on the line.

jubeh
01-21-2011, 09:06 PM
I don't understand what you are getting at.

GunZet
01-21-2011, 09:19 PM
I think he meant each person's view on this subject is their own. Because art is something entirely different for every individual, there is no right and wrong answer...did I do it right?

jubeh
01-21-2011, 09:23 PM
If that is the case that is what precisely makes this sort of discussion so ho-hum. But if its not then everything is on the line and fenn is wrong!

But continue guys Im glad you are talking about art.

CypressDahlia
01-21-2011, 11:05 PM
Like I said, diving straight into the "what is art?" question is pointless as everyone arrives to the same conclusion. The first thing we have to establish is "what is an artist?"

I say that because I know most of your answers to that question are going to contradict the general consensus in this thread that art is anything and everything. The classification of "artist" entails that there are people who are entitled to make art, or people whose work can be regarded as art, as opposed to "non artist", right? Or am I missing something here?

Delphinus
01-22-2011, 02:28 PM
They're presented in a non-intellectual way, therefore not inspiring people to take an intellectual approach to them. [...]
Whereas both, aesthetically and intellectually, are equal, the way modern artwork is presented as opposed to classical artwork doesn't really beg an intellectual approach to it, therefore is seemingly shallow in comparison.
Concept art and such is produced to show certain things about the character in the game, advertisement, or such, which really isn't the same. In game art, for example, you might dress or pose a character a certain way to reveal something about their personality, or in an advertisement, to portray the character using PRODUCT A as possessing qualities that are admired by your market segment - but these are both rather shallow uses of art. In the first case, the subtext is used as part of a cohesive vision that is arguably more the game designer's (or in grim cases, producer's) than the artist's - in the latter, the subtext is simply used to try and sell gullible customers the product advertised.
On the other hand, in the work of many of the old masters and most 'highbrow' art nowadays, the subtext of the piece is used to send a message regarding some important topic, generally philosophical or otherwise intellectual, through the use of symbolism. The problem I have is when the symbolism is so overblown that it obscures the aesthetic value of the piece. I think this applies to literature and music as well as the fine arts, too - take Revolution 9 from the White Album for example: it has an intellectual subtext, but the track can only be called 'music' in the loosest sense of the word.

CypressDahlia
01-22-2011, 04:43 PM
You're talking about symbolism, then. I was speaking in terms of artist know-how and technique.

TBH, expecting every piece of art to be symbolic or meaningful defeats the purpose of art, doesn't it? When you think about it, that's an extremely rigid standard to go by. Sometimes self-expression can be as simple as the desire to create something or to beautify a subject. Even the Old Masters did a lot of artwork that meant nothing; simply existed to be beautiful or "accurate". What I mean by that is that they would paint things simply for the sake of painting it accurately and realistically. A more modern example would be Monet. Monet would sit down and paint multiple iterations of the same thing under different light conditions simply for the sake of study and accurately portraying realism (which is basically the crux of the Impressionist movement). He really didn't have any profound reason to paint those things. Yet those studies are among his most famous work and consistently praised to high heaven by all kinds of historians, art critics, high art buffs and teachers (I never hear enough about the guy, I swear). A great portion of Michelangelo's most renown work is comprised of anatomy studies that he drew for no reason other than to practice.

Besides, no offense, but any idiot can pretend there is a deeper meaning to something. You ever stand beside two college kids at an art show and hear the pretentious pseudo-intellectual BS they spout? Simply put: some things just don't have a meaning, but that doesn't mean they deserve less artistic merit.

Delphinus
01-22-2011, 06:07 PM
TBH, expecting every piece of art to be symbolic or meaningful defeats the purpose of art, doesn't it?
I didn't say I expected every piece to by symbolic, just that there was both a symbolic and an aesthetic dimension to art and that the best works use both. But it could be that I'm approaching the fine arts too similarly to literature...

Fenn
01-23-2011, 11:27 AM
I don't understand what you are getting at.


I think he meant each person's view on this subject is their own. Because art is something entirely different for every individual, there is no right and wrong answer...did I do it right?


If that is the case that is what precisely makes this sort of discussion so ho-hum. But if its not then everything is on the line and fenn is wrong!

But continue guys Im glad you are talking about art.

:( You said you are smart enough to not join, which made me sad because, as topic creator, I look dumb.

But to be serious, the thread panned out just as I hoped. I figured people would begin by agreeing that art is what you define it as,then all the smart scary people on this site would come in claiming it does have limits (which is a good thing) and get into some cool discussions on what might be constituted art.

jubeh
01-23-2011, 02:41 PM
I didn't mean that at all fenn. This is just too pure of a question to jump in to.

GunZet
01-23-2011, 02:49 PM
I was half expecting a clash between the artist's and the philosophers.

Fenn
01-23-2011, 08:09 PM
I didn't mean that at all fenn. This is just too pure of a question to jump in to.

Oh. So I'm not dumb? :D

I knew you weren't calling me dumb but I did think you disapproved of the question. Thanks for clarifying.

jubeh
01-23-2011, 08:10 PM
If I thought you were dumb my post would have been like jesus why is fenn so dumb.

Fenn
01-24-2011, 06:54 PM
If I thought you were dumb my post would have been like jesus why is fenn so dumb.

Like I said, I knew that wasn't the point. I usually only use emoticons when I'm being sarcastic or I'm really happy.

On topic, would anyone like to respond to this claim: Beauty is pleasure objectified. ~George Santayana

Evil_Cake
01-24-2011, 09:18 PM
no thx

Fenn
01-24-2011, 11:13 PM
no thx

Your contribution to this thread cannot be underestimated.

Evil_Cake
01-25-2011, 12:08 AM
understated maybe

toast
02-03-2011, 08:41 PM
Art is something that inspires you creatively. That's it. There is nothing deeper than that, that is the whole point of art. To be inspired, and to achieve a level of inspiration with your art. That drawing you made, you were influenced mentally/emotionally on some level to make that. Something gave you an idea, and you worked out this idea and made it art.
That is why you listen to music, why you read books, why you watch movies or look through sweet drawings. You want to see something that will influence your emotions or your ideas. Even the most horrible art can influence someone, negatively or positively.

You don't need to think too hard on this guys...

Fenn
02-04-2011, 10:04 PM
Art is something that inspires you creatively. That's it. There is nothing deeper than that, that is the whole point of art. To be inspired, and to achieve a level of inspiration with your art. That drawing you made, you were influenced mentally/emotionally on some level to make that. Something gave you an idea, and you worked out this idea and made it art.
That is why you listen to music, why you read books, why you watch movies or look through sweet drawings. You want to see something that will influence your emotions or your ideas. Even the most horrible art can influence someone, negatively or positively.

You don't need to think too hard on this guys...

As a creator or viewer? And is it the process of creating said inspirational object, the object, or the emotion it conveys? Which of these aspects is the "art?"

PWhit
02-06-2011, 12:12 AM
To be really technical, Art is how the person portrays their perception of the world in any fashion or form. This is a vague definition for a reason.

*You can consider music a form of art as someone is expressing feelings through voice and stating an opinion based on their perception of reality.
*You can consider sculpture art as it is also a form of one's perception through reality and is tangible for others as well as visual.
*Metallurgy is a form of art in a way for the same reasons as sculpture.
*Manga is art as it can give you the reading sensation through one's writing based on their ethics and opinions.
*Cooking is a gray area of art as it takes perfection and modification of certain recipies to attain a taste that is flavorful to their extrema.
*Even the use of timed electric shocks from Tesla coils can be considered art.

The depth the artist goes determines the reality of everything portrayed.