What Is Art?

April 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

What is art? Who knows in this fast paced nano bit world what passes for art. We as humans take in on average million of bits of info on an hourly basis. The brain, big lug as it is processes and filters out what we want to know and what we want to keep as our moods dictate. Art is as I think a very personal experience dictated by our own separate biases and preconceptions beginning as a child and developed or underdeveloped depending on our own with peers and divergent social and cultural experiences.

Is art an observant process or a culturally appropriated dictum based on our preconceived notions of our time. Does politics or world events affect our experiences of art during our day or do we as humans filter out what we perceive as threatening to our psyche.

Certainly our surroundings dictate what we can process as being art on a daily basis. Can one compare to living in Florence per se as to living in a developing country.  Not to say that these countries do not have their fair share of art, but how much time do they spend thinking about and observing art? If one is going about the daily struggle of survival you really do not have a lot of time do debate the linear or painterly qualities of Renaissance painting. What then constitutes art in this population? Does geographical location or education dictate how we perceive or think about art? Can one really care about what Judy Chicago is doing with dinner ware when you cannot feed your own family?

Art may be around everyone but can we really accept what is said by so called outsiders or do we challenge what the critics say? Art is as relevant to the uneducated as to the degree granted patron of the museum culture. What we have to realize is that art must challenge or should provoke on a daily basis a dialogue regarding social or political engagement that pushes the boundaries of personal comfort. What is arts purpose if not to engage the viewer emotionally or aesthetically and to draw them into the drama at hand?

The human viewer of art in our world needs not only to activate all senses but also has to envelope the ethos of our times and develop a cultural awareness that is at once sensitive and critical but yet understanding and accepting of all that the art world has to offer.

We must as consumers or creators of art not only appreciate what our fellow artists are producing but also dictate what and how we want to view the images they are creating. Are they appropriate for our time? Do they question and challenge our daily living? Does the artist engage the viewer and inspire them to create works of their own? Then and only then does art serve its purpose; that is that anyone regardless of age or ability can appreciate an image worthy of the Met or any other gallery.

Chris Le Page


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