What Is Art?

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


A watercolour painting? Packing tape on the wall? A painted square of colour? A bicycle wheel drilled to a stool? A marble sculpture? 

Are all of these things really considered art?

What is art?

According to dictionary.com, it is “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or more than ordinary significance.” 

Huh??

So… art is anything that someone thinks is beautiful, appealing OR significant… THAT really narrows it down…

Willows at Vetheuil, 1880             Claude Monet

According to art historian Marilyn Stokstad, the definition of art also depends on “what is created, when it was created, how it was created, the intention of the creator, the role of the creation, who commissioned it, and certainly the response of the viewer — both at the historical time it was created today.”

Whew!

So, according to this definition, art is basically dependent on… well… anything.

Some think that art is only art if it is worth money, others believe it only matters if it is hung in a gallery, and even others consider the most priceless pieces of art to be those created by the hands of a child.

So, what is art?

The easiest answer: whatever you want it to be! Whether it is a Monet, or your daughter’s finger painting, if it makes you happy than it is art to you!