What Is Art?
This question pops up often, and with many answers. Many argue that art cannot be defined. We could go about this in several ways. Art is often considered the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations and ways of expression, including music, literature, film, sculpture and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics. At least, that’s what Wikipedia claims.
Art is generally understood as any activity or product done by people with a communicative or aesthetic purposeâ€”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 transmits ideas and values inherent in every culture across space and time. Its role changes through time, acquiring more of an aesthetic component here and a socio-educational function there.
Everything we’ve said so far has elements of truth but is mainly opinion. According to Wikipedia, “Art historians and philosophers of art have long had classificatory disputes about art regarding whether a particular cultural form or piece of work should be classified as art.”
The definition of art is open, subjective, debatable. There is no agreement among historians and artists, which is why we’re left with so many definitions of art. The concept itself has changed over centuries.
The very notion of art continues today to stir controversy, being so open to multiple interpretations. It can be taken simply to mean any human activity, or any set of rules needed to develop an activity. This would generalize the concept beyond what is normally understood as the fine arts, now broadened to encompass academic areas. The word has many other colloquial uses, too.
In this article, we mean art as a form of human expression of a creative nature.