What Is Art? Studying the Different Views and Opinions Essay

“A form of human activity created primarily as an aesthetic expression, especially, but not limited to drawing, painting and sculpture. ” Although the definition of art is not a definition as such, but more of personal preference and interpretation, I believe that whether it be psychological or visionary art, it can not be considered art unless it can be appreciated for the skills of the artist in its aesthetic value and meaning. Common belief is that art is only considered art when it is on canvas, however art is the title given to a diverse range of creative expression and can be shown in many different ways.

In the sense of artistic production, the most obvious examples would be through painting, drawing or even photography, and in a more physical direction, sculpture and architecture. Each area of creativity is vastly different, however they all share a mutual purpose – expression. Implying that the motivation has come from the artist, to make it a memorable experience, drawing the attention, holding that and provoking questions and criticism. Within this I believe that Alphonse Mucha is considered to be a true artist, as his pieces are eye-catching, visually attractive and meaningful.

Not only is Mucha a talented artist but he also characterised the movement of the art nouveau style, with his emotive paintings to capture his fascination of the sensuous aspects of female beauty, with his supple artistic skills he creates luxuriously flowing strands of hair and represents the female image as ornamental. In doing this he captures the attention of the observer, engaging them in every aspect of his pieces – the technique, the meaning behind it, what it is representing – and that is the work of a true artist.

What is not Art? Similarly to the definition of what is art, what is considered to not be art has no definition and is again based on personal taste and interpretation. However this differs to ‘What is Art’ as there is no common opinion to what aspects it needs to have, or not to have, to give it the label of not being art. Peoples preference in art, although based largely on personal taste and opinion, is commonly mutual to others’ preferences and so there are some ovements or styles within art that are strongly considered to not be art. In consideration to my opinion on what is art, I feel that many of Tracey Emin’s works would not be considered art. Quoted as saying, “If I did stuff and everyone said it was wonderful and lovely, I’d think, ooh, what have I done wrong? I wouldn’t trust the situation at all. ” gives an overall insight to Emin’s methods of producing ‘art’. Although she manages to engage the viewers attention, she does it for all the wrong reasons.

Known to the world for her ‘confessional art’ Emin reveals intimate details of her life through her work. Her piece ‘My Bed’, fully portrays this as it involves empty bottles, clothes, contraception, cigarettes and other personal belongings. Hailed as ‘the necessary weapon of an heroic victim, the bloodied sword of a warrior in the sex and gender wars’, I feel that it does no such thing. As I believe art is meant to show talent, hold aesthetic value and attract the viewers attention through appreciation, Tracey Emin depicts to me, what is not art.