Art – What Is It?
Ultimately, what is a painting, or any work of art? Why do we need something that may relate to reality but is not reality?
Do we need paintings anymore? In the 19th century, people would pay good money to see just one large painting. Today, so many images are readily available. Nudes have always been popular in art. However, today, you can see all the nudes you want and more on the net.
Art can be an attempt to find meaning in our lives and our existence, but ultimatly it must appeal to our emotions.
Art caters to that large element of vicarious living in our lives – through drama, literature, movies, TV, music, playing and watching sport. We see our lives in relation to a phantasy, a parallel world – a world that exists only in our minds – of myths, religion, and dream time stories.
Over the top of this aspect is an aesthetic one. It’s not just what the story is about, it’s how the story is told. It’s not just what the painting is showing, it’s how the painting is done. The “how” the art work is done actually seems more important than the content.
Though we seem to need it badly, and it is often the only thing that remains of a lost civilization, an art work is an entity unto itself with its own reference to reality, interpreted though our individual minds, and has no absolute truth. Another view might be that all art is decorative, no matter how visually unattractive it might be, or whatever meaning we may attach to it. It is just something our minds want to look at.