What we talk about when we talk about art

Is it possible to define art? And if so, how are we supposed to do this? These two simple questions have been of the most serious concerns of scholars, historians and artists for long. Even today, many art classes begin their introduction by posing these very questions. It is naïve to assume that these questions have clear-cut answers. The responses change based on the era that is inhabited and the individual that is supposed to reply to these questions. Often, the most popular forms of art change from generation to generation and era to era. What we now consider art would have been laughed at a few centuries ago, while the significance of a popular painting in a few centuries back loses its prominence for us today.

Different perceptions of art

These different perceptions of art are not excluded to distinct generations or times in history. If you were to visit your local art shop in Canada with a friend of the same age as yours, it is of no surprise that what you agree on as being a proper and acceptable form of art might differ. It is important to note that though variations occur at the level of what is to be considered as art, the necessity to acknowledge all as different art forms still remains.

Different forms

As long as a particular work of art finds its audience and is valued by experts, it is crucial to embrace this piece as a work of art—even if it is not our cup of tea. The matter of disliking different forms of art might simply refer to individual taste and must not be confused with the dismissal of a piece as an artwork.

Universal definition

Though there is no universal definition for art, point to the roots of art in imagination and the human need to create and express. This is why art takes on different shapes, some our favorites, and some not really! Humans express themselves differently and so do they partake in different experiences divergently. Today, we are encountered with a multiplicity of depictions and there is more freedom in how artists can express themselves.

Whatever shape and form it might take on, be it literature, painting, sculpting or architecture, as long as there is an audience to witness and the human’s need to experience or to take refuge in another’s is present, art will thrive.

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