It’s in the Eye of the Beholder

It may seem like a simple question with a simple answer; but defining art is anything but simple. It’s as complex as asking “What is Beauty?” You’ll probably get as many definitions of beauty as the number of people you ask.

If you look in the dictionary, art is defined as: “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

Taken at face value, that seems like a good definition of art. Or at least it’s the traditional definition of art which makes images of paintings or sculpture come to mind when we hear the word art.

The real question of “What is Art?” becomes far more complex when we try to define what art isn’t. For example, when artistic works serve practical functions beyond their decorative value, does art become simply a craft? Or does the quality, or workmanship, define what art is and what it isn’t? Are objects that don’t stimulate your senses, thoughts or emotions merely utilitarian works?

Shape, form, space, texture, value and color are the elements artists manipulate to create a work of art. For example, it may be the colors and shapes in a painting or a sculptor’s ability to create shape and form that draw a viewer’s attention and make us say it’s a work of art.

The question of “What Is Art?” is really a thought provoking one, and the answer to the question is as unique as you are. If a piece captures your attention, enjoy it!

Art is truly in the eye of the beholder.