Art is a creative activity that expresses imaginative or technical skill. It produces a product, an object. Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, performing artifacts, and expressing the author's imaginative mind. The product of art is called a work of art, for others to experience.
Those who make art are called artists. They hope to affect the emotions of people who experience it. Some people find art relaxing, exciting or informative. Some say people are driven to make art due to their inner creativity.
Types of art
Art is divided into the plastic arts, where something is made, and the performing arts, where something is done by humans in action. The other division is between pure arts, done for themselves, and practical arts, done for a practical purpose, but with artistic content.
- Plastic art
- Performing art
- Practical art
What "art" means
Some people say that art is a product or item that is made with the intention of stimulating the human senses as well as the human mind, spirit and soul. An artwork is normally judged by how much impact it has on people, the number of people who can relate to it, and how much they appreciate it. Some people also get inspired.
The first and broadest sense of "art" means "arrangement" or "to arrange." In this sense, art is created when someone arranges things found in the world into a new or different design or form; or when someone arranges colors next to each other in a painting to make an image or just to make a pretty or interesting design.
Art may express emotion. Artists may feel a certain emotion and wish to express it by creating something that means something to them. Most of the art created in this case is made for the artist rather than an audience. However, if an audience is able to connect with the emotion as well, then the art work may become publicly successful.
History of art
All of the great ancient civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt, India, China, Greece, Rome and Persia had works and styles of art. In the Middle Ages, most of the art in Europe showed people from the Bible in paintings, stained glass windows, and mosaic tile floors and walls.
Islamic art includes geometric patterns, Islamic calligraphy, and architecture. In India and Tibet, painted sculptures, dance, and religious painting were done. In China, arts included jade carving, bronze, pottery, poetry, calligraphy, music, painting, drama, and fiction. There are many Chinese artistic styles, which are usually named after the ruling dynasty.
In Europe, after the Middle Ages, there was a "Renaissance" which means "rebirth". People rediscovered science and artists were allowed to paint subjects other than religious subjects. People like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci still painted religious pictures, but they also now could paint mythological pictures too. These artists also invented perspective where things in the distance look smaller in the picture. This was new because in the Middle Ages people would paint all the figures close up and just overlapping each other.
In the late 1800s, artists in Europe, responding to Modernity created many new painting styles such as Classicism, Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism. The history of twentieth century art includes Expressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, and Minimalism.
Roles of art
In some societies, people think that art belongs to the person who made it. They think that the artist put his or her "talent" and industry into the art. In this view, the art is the property of the artist, protected by copyright.
In other societies, people think that art belongs to no one. They think that society has put its social capital into the artist and the artist's work. In this view, society is a collective that has made the art, through the artist.
Functions of art
1) Cognitive function
- Works of art let us know about what the author knew, and about what the surrounding of the author were like.
2) Aesthetic function
- Works of art can make people happy by being beautiful.
3) Prognostic function
- Some artists draw what they see the future like, and some of them are right, but most are not...
4) Recreation function
- Art makes us think about it, not about reality; we have a rest.
5) Value function
- What did the artist value? What aims did he like/dislike in human activity? This usually is clearly seen in artists' works.
6) Didactic function
- What message, criticism or political change did the artist wish to achieve?
- Various definitions in: Wilson, Simon & Lack, Jennifer 2008. The Tate guide to modern art terms. Tate Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85437-750-0
- E.H. Gombrich 1995. The story of art. London: Phaidon. ISBN 978-0714832470
- Kleiner, Gardner, Mamiya and Tansey. 2004. Art through the ages. 12th ed. 2 volumes, Wadsworth. ISBN 0-534-64095-8 (vol 1) and ISBN 0-534-64091-5 (vol 2)
- Bagdasaryan, Nadejda (2000). "7. Art as a phenomenon of culture". Culturology (in Russian). p. 511. ISBN 5-06-003475-5.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)