What is art? Do you picture a well-known painting, statue, or musical work? Personally, I don’t picture just a single or few things – Art is everywhere to me. From my mother’s college paintings in the living room to my father’s random “at-home projects”, art was hugely a part of my upbringing. However, this highly complex entity is challenging to define, especially since there are no universally accepted definitions. After several unsuccessful attempts to define the term art, my suggestion to the casual observer is this – Rather than trying to formulate a single definition, take time to explore these personal characteristics I have observed about art:
1. Art is purely subjective – There’s no objective wrongness or rightness in art. Art is unique to each person since humans perceive and experience things differently. It takes me days to go through an entire art museum, while most of my friends would not even dream of entering one. It’s all about the relativity of taste – What you enjoy in terms of art is entirely your joy.
2. Art describes something of creative beauty or skill – Art is the product of thought and purpose. Whether it be through a painting or an instrument, all modes of artistic expression reflect a reaction to the world. Even the most absurd creations reveal more beneath the surface. In eliciting a reaction from the senses, intellect, or emotions of an individual, this creativity element of art allows humans to connect with others.
3. Art makes life infinitely rich – Art has existed on every continent and in every culture since time began. As a natural human activity, it is a part of who we are. Look at the desk or table where you sit – someone designed that. Look at the screen you are reading this on – someone designed that too. These are all different modes of art.
Now look at your hands. Try to imagine all of the things that you have created and will create. Can you even imagine all the things human hands collectively have created? Therefore, there are simple modes of art in our every day lives that we sometimes fail to appreciate.
How will you artify your life today?