What is art?

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by Stanley Edwards, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    What kind of paintings would you say weren't art?
  2. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

  3. Gromit

    Gromit International Man of Misery

    My description of art is simple.

    Something designed to stimulate an emotional response in its audience.

    Some might include intellectual response but I would say that an intellectual response will invariably lead to an emotional response, if only smugness that they get it and others don't.
  4. krtek a houby

    krtek a houby this means nothing to me

    See - this is art. Even though predictable in form, it still has merit and dare I say it a sense of foreshadowing...
  5. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    Any created without the desire to communicate with, or provoke change in their audience.
  6. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Would you include in that, say, a portrait of a monarch that just flattered them?
  7. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I don't agree with this.

    I know painters who just like to produce a painting that pleases them, which is also what I do with my photography.
    Vintage Paw likes this.
  8. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    Someone told me art is whatever the artist thinks is art, some is good and some is rubbish, but it's all art.
    Vintage Paw and Chilli.s like this.
  9. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    No - that's a very political act. Political art fits my definition.
  10. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    And that's why not everything produced in an artistic medium is Art.
  11. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I think you hold artists to a much higher standard than I do. One of my dad's paintings was accepted for the national gallery* which probably confirms that his output was artistic, nevertheless he painted scenes that pleased him in his own style.

    *or was it the royal academy I forget.
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
  12. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    It was the Royal Academy.
  13. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    What you seem to be saying is that Art needs to reach a certain standard - in your case, a certain strand of originality and/or intent - which is at odds with the purely formal criteria that other people are applying.

    I think that to a degree most of us believe in this at some level anyway, and that not everything that tries to be art is art, or rather that not everything deserves to be called art even if it meets the formal definition. In theory we could be completely neutral on what counts as art, merely allowing that it is bad art, but I think that there is a point at which we just want to say 'but it isn't even art, it's just filler.'

    It does raise potential interesting consequences, such as in theory not being able to tell if a work is Art without knowledge of its provenance. For example, there could be two very similar landscape paintings - one an innovative work exploring how paint can portray the mood of a view, and the other a mere imitation of the same style but done solely in the spirit of making a pretty image to hand in the living room.
  14. xenon

    xenon Radical efficiencies

    To add to that. There are computer programs that can produce original scenes, music, automatically. There is human creativity involed in the process, even if just through the programmers choices. But is any given product of this process an work of art. If one such image is mounted on a canvas, I'd argue this would meet @spanglchick's definition of art. In that the intent of displaying such an item outside it's normal context is an attempt to engage an audience. To elisit some response, even if only oo pretty or yuk.

    <I should do some bloody work>
  15. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    But the "art" in that scenario isn't the picture or whatever. It's the knowledge of how the art was produced, the attitude that takes against the establishment and so on. It's conceptual art.
  16. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    My art teachers were pretty bad, every one trying to get us to paint or draw in traditional ways, but all totally failing to do anything interesting or encourage any sense of creativity.
    It wasn't until a couple of years ago I realised how bad these teachers were, and how much damage they'd done to me.
    I was dragged to an exhibition, fully intending to tell them my gran's dog had died and telling I had to leave urgently, but WOW!
    I looked at the first few works i walked towards, got talking to the artists, and that was me hooked, so now I attend any and every exhibition I come across, usually finding them very relaxing and enjoyable.
    I have discovered what my art teachers did their best to destroy - art is not forcing kids to draw a bloody sunset, it's all about doing whatever pleases you.
    I'm never likely to become an artist (I have one rather lefty political art idea I'm toying with), but I've learnt I can appreciate things others have done, and there's so much amazing stuff out there to enjoy.
  17. mrs quoad

    mrs quoad Well-Known Member

    All 358 of them.

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