What is Art?

By: Damien Knight

     Art has so many definitions; each person who views a work of “Art” defines it differently. What is art? Art is the interpretation of a person’s individual reality. Since reality is how we see the world then should not art be the sharing of how we see it? Is not art the interpretation of it?

      I have stated in prior writings that reality is what we make it to be to some extent. An artist is a creator of realities. He paints worlds that are in his mind to the canvas, he carves into marble images only he saw prior to its carving. Art is the creation of realities and the artist’s interpretation of it.

     Different people have different aesthetic tastes but that is not what determines if art is art. In fact, one could say there is no real way to determine what art is. Art can indeed be what an individual views as “artistic.” Most claim they like a certain style of art because they can relate to it. It helps them interpret their own reality. So we return to art being an interpretation of a reality except now it is not the artist’s reality being defined but the viewer.

      The viewer looks upon the reality created by the artist and applies it to their own view of the world. If it relates then the viewer will say “This is art.” If it does not relate the viewer will view the work as junk and not understand the artist’s message. Art is the portrayal of reality so long as people can relate it is worth being displayed.

      Since art is first the artist’s reality it does not have to portray the material world. It can display dreams and emotions. How the artist displays these alternate realities is what makes an artist a creator of reality. These images or sculptures become art when others including the artist view it as art. When it is viewed as such it becomes worthy of being displayed as art. Art that is considered beautiful to one person may be displeasing to another. So long as it is an interpretation of reality by the artist and relates to the viewer’s own reality is art truly art.

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