Friday, January 19, 2007

What's art?

Last night it was a little difficult to post this blog for you to see it in class. But here it is. The title question above remains elusive, but I'd like to have your impressions -based on the pieces posted below. One very general definition is that art is anything man made with a social function. So, painting, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, cave paintings, artifacts (even objects that are prized for their utility, rather than for their purely aesthetic qualities) such as ceramics, glassware, basketry, jewelry, metal ware, furniture, textiles, clothing (and other such goods associated with the decorative arts) are generally considered art. Some don't share this broad view. They assume that art is confined exclusively to artifacts with no particular functional value, such as painting or sculpture. Do you agree? Do you care that what you make is art? Does it matter?


La Lady said...

I agree that art is both functional and non-functional. Im not sure if it would be safe to say that I find non-functional artwork to be more purposeful even though it may not be operative. This is obviously my own opinion... Unfortunately alot of the time this type of artwork goes un-noticed...but even though this may be the case the world would most certainly be a very dull uninspiring place without it. It would only be then that everyone would notice that everything would be missing something. is a form of expression (dance, music, visual etc..) that is inspired by any form of stimulation...maybe??? wait actually this sounds kind of lame...i didnt mean to write this.

...anything out of the ordinary????

...something that can be experienced or created without speaking.

...its usually made by weird people. is anything that is impossible for me to define in minimum 120 words.

Sarita Sanchez

diana.arguello said...

Art can be described in many ways it doesn’t really have a definition in my opinion.
I think that art is easier to be described as the way something is done, the use of skill and imagination in the creation. Therefore, I do agree that art includes practicable, and non- practicable pieces of work.

Of course, I care that what I make is art. I don’t consider my work art until I’m satisfied with it and most of the times I’m too critical on my own work. Therefore, many times I don’t consider it art just work in process of one day becoming art.

The pieces posted below I do consider them art because, like I stated before they used skill and imagination they showed creativity and some of them are even making a state for example in Ivan Kafka's piece he is stating “confrontations and dialogues with the surrounding environment.”

To me it doesn’t matter who thinks my work is art just as long I’m satisfied with my work then I’m content.

achasey said...

The word art may mean many different things depending upon who you ask. To many, art is only considered art when it has been made with no purpose other than being beautiful, ugly, or whatever. In this sense art would not include objects with functional value. In my opinion I think functional objects can be considered art, in fact, I admire functional objects as art probbably more than something that has bee produced simply for looks. I say this because art is not all in looks. Music, poems, stories and dance are all considered art to me. When I think of things like vases, swords or armor, of course they have functional puropses but few people could look at a samuri sword closely without seeing the beauty in it. Defining art is a mind boggeling task that will never have a clear cut anwser. I believe this is because wether or not something is art depends on the viewer and the creator, giving it a strict social aspect. Personally I do not care if what I make is considered art by others. Art is just a word, the object and the viewer are what can make beauty.

achasey said...

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JustineH said...

In the early part of the 20th century Duchamp turned a urinal upside down, wrote R Mutt 1917 on it and called it art, elevating a ready made object to the status of sculpture and art. By this logic art can theoretically be anything presented by an artist as art. In the past, lines have been drawn between art solely for aesthetic purposes, craft and architecture; relagating the latter two to a lesser position. Although some traditionalists might still adhere to this position there have been changes in this century which have blurred definitions.
I agree with Duchamp, by calling yourself an artist you are able to place the label of art on anything you chose whether it be a building or a urinal and have that be art. By calling something art what the artist is really putting forward is an idea, and this label suddenly imbues an object with new life and a new status so that a viewer now looks at an object and considers it in the light of "fine art object". The only say the public then has is whether or not it happens to be good or bad art.

tae said...

Artists sometimes intend to move the viewer—to conjure an emotion. The pieces posted are widely different, and each provokes a different sense. They share one thing in common. They draw the viewer to inquire. It isn’t always inquiry. Sometimes art is intended to shock; sometimes it is intended to be peaceful. In almost all art, I think it does provoke some kind of feeling—sometimes it may just be downright distaste or disdain. Craft as art is a shrinking debate. I think that that the functional object is increasingly accepted as art. Design has come of age. From a fanciful teapot to creative furniture or a sleek DustBuster vacuum designed as a cone. Common household items are taking on new and non-traditional shapes and colors. This element of design brings a new feeling of satisfaction and creativity. They are no longer the same ho hum boring stayed objects. They have new life and new interest—new intrigue. I think that I do care what I make is art. I have been working mostly on functional objects. I strive to make the objects pleasing to others, as well as to me. I want to make a vase or a bowl, but I want to make it different than the usual. And, honestly, if it’s not accepted by some as art, that’s OK too. So, maybe it doesn't really matter.

Ernie said...

Art is what is artfully presented. Art is what art does. Art may be the noblest legacy of humanity...or not.

j.namon said...

“Art is anything man made with a social function.”

I have just a few replacements and substitutions of words to express my idea of art. Art is anything created that provokes emotion. I don’t believe it should be limited to just man made creations. To be even more general, I believe the earth itself is a work of art. The sky for example. The sky is painted day after day with emotions describing and setting most of our moods. It’s rainy and gray outside or the sky is blue and the wind is blowing and those high clouds look like giant brushstrokes across the biggest canvas imaginable. How do those days make you feel? No matter what your answer is they provoke emotions, moods, and understanding. Arguably, emotion is claimed to be only a human trait. Use your imagination to make the earth a living life form in it’s most simplest creation. It breathes (pumps its blood) with the trees which strongly resemble the veins in my body. It speaks without the use of language, instead it speaks with action. With this idea the earth, it can begin to resemble an artist, and his/her attempt at communicating with the viewer with their action, their conscious (and even unconscious) arrangement of visual materials and mediums help express emotions, while simultaneously sparking emotions, even if they’re different that of the creator. And the beauty of it all is that each spark of emotion is completely different within each person, it (emotion) is solely individual, so the interpretations are endlessly possible. To let art be constrained by human creations is defining it unjustly. It has been around since this earth was created, and it will always be. This is simply our interpretation of it during our existence. I ramble a lot. Hope it made some sense.

stephsteph said...

Art is an abstract idea. Art is an external manifestation of an internal idea. It is internal feelings being depicted externally. Art can be a combination of all or a selection of color, texture, surface, space, sound, or words(To name a few). Throughout time art is has been known as painting, sculpture, dance, music, and theater, etc. I believe art does not have to be aesthetically appealing to everyone. Everyone has different aesthetics. However, when creating art it has to be aesthetic pleasing to the artist (If this makes any sense). Art is a form of therapy, meditation or even healing. Art is so hard to describe because it is so abstract. It could either not be describe by any words at all or there are too many words to describe it. All I know is that art is beautiful and interesting which brings balance in this world we live in.

Stephanie Meyer

Meng said...

Art is so commonly used that sometimes one doesn’t even realize its existence. It’s everywhere on the streets. Road signs, company logos, and buildings are all part of it. It is art that we dress the way we dress now, it’s art that we want to eat the food we eat (obviously if it looks ugly you won’t want to take a bite), it’s art that the car you drive looks the way it does, it’s art how wonderful our campus is for us to be around, and it’s art that made this page so nice and easy to the eye (thank you for not using bright/colorful backgrounds). Art is what makes something plain more… more alive maybe, more eye-catching, and more beautiful.
To say a certain type of art have no particular functional value has to come from one who does not like and/or not know art in my opinion. Just because you can’t eat your cereal with a painting or wear a pair of sculptures on your feet does not mean they do not server a purpose, and an essential one at that.
Like music, one can’t really literally do anything with paintings and sculptures, but can we really live without them? No, and that is their functional value, they’re good for the soul.

Kristal said...

I have to disagree with some of the definitions presented for one particular word, "function." All art is functional if you broaden the meaning of the word. Art's ultimate function is to stir a thought process in both the artist and the viewer. When looking at the pieces posted my eyes are most drawn to Neo Rauch and Maurizio Cattelan as examples of art’s uses. Most people would consider these non-fuctional art, something good for nothing except being art. However, these two in particular serve the purpose of satire and make people stop to think.

Art takes both artist and audience through a pathway of ideas and questions in order to extract some kind of meaning.
Those questions could be as simple as:
"What does that figure mean?"
"I wonder if my coffee will spill in this pretty new mug?"

or even so far as:
"Why the hell would anyone call this art?"

By simply causing any reaction, positive or negative, art has served its function; therefore, all art is functional.

I have to agree most closely with Tae’s definition of the population’s increasing awareness of function, form, and art as one entity. Now there is more thought put into the everyday object’s design and that’s what art is for.

AlexLee said...

Like many of the previous comments I agree that art is everywhere. It can take many shapes and forms and at times can be difficult to define. But to me art is anything that is created, original and thought provoking. If it is something you have never seen and when starring at it it makes you think then that is art. I enjoy experiencing other peoples art as well as creating my own. Looking at other peoples work helps you to see things in new ways and helps you grow as an artist too.

The pieces posted were pretty interesting. My favorites were Francis Alys painting and Ivan Kafka's photo. Francis Alys painting caught my eye because of all the bright and beautiful colors it also made me wonder why the mans face was missing. And Ivan Kafka's photo I like very much because it captures motion and like how part of it is partially blurred while the rest is sharp and focused.

Acknowledging all of art is important rather then accepting. Knowing something is art is different then liking or disliking.