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What is Art?

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Subjective thoughts and ideas about Art?

In the mind.

Art is in the minds eye and can be whatever your imagination will allow it to be.

Its a drop of rain ricocheting from a tarmac canvas and exploding into oblivion as it gathers momentum and careers down the gutter in a shimmering sea of crystal clear raindrops.

Its a lonely pedestrian wandering down an empty unlit street with the moonlight on their back, silhouetting them against a background of statuesque buildings that expose their secrets within through brightly lit windows. The cracks in the shutters of hidden rooms where the inhabitants go about their mundane lives in secret, unaware and oblivious to what might lay ahead. While outside and below, the discards of man blow in every direction and rodents hug the curbs as they scurry among the waste sniffing the breeze in order to search out a meal to take back to their secret nests and feed their expectant young.

Its the first look between a newborn and its mother in realization of who they are, just after the moment the child was thrust into daylight by a deliberate forceful push to guiding hands that have pulled them from the safety and fluid warmth of the womb to the comfort of the breast.
The exhausted weeping mother propped upon the bed, anxious and exited at the thought of her first real connection with a child she will love forever. Its the curve of the engorged breast with hard inviting nipples, dripping slightly as the child is placed before it, as it's mothers instinct is automatic in her release of live giving sustenance, the newborn unsure and yet ready to accept its bounty through swollen nipples that weep in readiness despite the mothers previous discomfort, trauma and agony as the child prepares to suckle at the breast for the first time.

Its the rush of the waves before they explode upon on the shore, undulating in a never ending cycle of power and ferocity before retreating back to the sea to return yet again.

Its the slightest glimpse of a distant image in the corner your eye. Its whatever and where ever you want it. Nothing is what it seems and everything is what it is and will be.

J Howlett. Arts-Crafts-HobbiesandDIY What is Art? © revised-2015

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By definition:


refers to a diverse range of human activities and artifacts, and may be used to cover all or any of the arts, including music, literature and other forms. It is most often used to refer specifically to the visual arts, including mediums such as painting, sculpture, and printmaking. Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy which considers art.

Visual art is defined as the arrangement of colors, forms, or other elements "in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium". The nature of art has been described by Richard Wollheim as "one of the most elusive of the traditional problems of human culture". It has been defined as a vehicle for the expression or communication of emotions and ideas, a means for exploring and appreciating formal elements for their own sake, and as mimesis or representation. Leo Tolstoy identified art as a use of indirect means to communicate from one person to another. Benedetto Croce and R.G. Collingwood advanced the idealist view that art expresses emotions, and that the work of art therefore essentially exists in the mind of the creator. Art as form has its roots in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and was developed in the early twentieth century by Roger Fry and Clive Bell. Art as mimesis or representation has deep roots in the philosophy of Aristotle.

Traditionally the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery, a concept which altered during the Romantic period, when art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science".

Generally art is a (product of) human activity, made with the intention of stimulating the human senses as well as the human mind; by transmitting emotions and/or ideas. Beyond this description, there is no general agreed-upon definition of art, since defining the boundaries of "art" is subjective, but the impetus for art is often called human creativity.

The evaluation of art has become especially problematic since the 20th century. Wollheim distinguishes three approaches: the Realist, whereby aesthetic quality is an absolute value independent of any human view, the Objectivist, whereby it is also an absolute value, but is dependent on general human experience, and the Relativist position, whereby it is not an absolute value, but depends on, and varies with, the human experience of different humans

An object may be characterized by the intentions, or lack thereof, of its creator, regardless of its apparent purpose. A cup, which ostensibly can be used as a container, may be considered art if intended solely as an ornament, while a painting may be deemed craft if mass-produced.

Wik - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaand is intended for general reference purposes only.

Excerpt from The guardian,

Monday November 25, 2002 by Jeanette winterson
Art is a different value system. Like God, it fails us continually. Like God, we have legitimate doubts about its existence but, like God, art leaves us with footprints of beauty. We sense there is more to life than the material world can provide, and art is a clue, an intimation, at its best, a transformation. We don't need to believe in it, but we can experience it. The experience suggests that the monolith of corporate culture is only a partial reality. This is important information, and art provides it.

Jeanette Winterson .