When I was in college, this philosophical question was hotly debated in the halls, over meals, and shouted about in the classrooms. I was never really interested in taking part in these debates, as I was more concerned about learning all the fascinating techniques. Art, I felt, is something that is created by the artist without any interference from any busy-body know-it-alls who pontificate for hours about the subtle variations of white.
This last remark in no way references anyone I have met. Really it doesn’t.
As I have gone through the years, however, I have come to realize that no one person has the same definition of art. My own definition is as follows:
Art- 1)an individually created piece that reflects the personality of the artist 2) an individually created piece that reflects the beauty of the world as seen through the eyes of the artist.
I have been told- sometimes at great length- that this is a naive definition, fit only for preschoolers and the art-impaired. I don’t take it personally, because I know people spend a great deal of time and money debating and exploring this topic to the fullest. I have also come to realize that art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
People have tried to tell me that in order for a piece to be considered art, it has to have a deeper meaning, something that dredges the very depths of human existence. I try not to laugh when I think about myself creating pieces with that in mind.
Of course, every piece I create does have some reason or other behind it’s design. Most of the time, it’s simply for the sheer creative beauty, but all of the pieces I create that are named have a story, or something that I was thinking about while I created them. I might try to capture the way bubbles rise in the air, or a vine’s tendril curls, but I will never talk about the subtle variations of black versus black that are intended to echo the depths of the human existence. I would probably hang up my hammer first.
But what about you, my reader? What do you say art is?