Sunday, May 12, 2013

What is Art?

Art is diverse, and has many different meanings, and is used in numerous different contexts. Art is hard
to pigeon hole. As human beings we like to organize and categorize objects, things, ideas, and events.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes art as the following: skill acquired by experience, study, or
observation and also the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.
According to the aesthetician George Dickie, “The work of art is an artifact (or event) upon which some person or persons acting on behalf of a certain social institution ( the art-world) has conferred the status of candidate for appreciation”.
The art-world is art historians, teachers, and professors of art, educational institutions of art, art dealers, critics, collectors, gallery owners, museums, and artists.
Terence McKenna an American philosopher, ethno botanist, researcher, psychonaunt, teacher, lecturer, and writer had this to say about art, “Art’s task is to save the soul of mankind”
I believe George Dickie’s definition of art is the most correct at this current time. I also believe McKenna’s quote on art holds true as well. It is for this very reason that art and artist are so very important to society.
Without artists you would have no beauty, political, social or aesthetic background as a scaffolding to build a society on. Artists throughout history have been the shamans, performers, writers, philosophers, inventors and political activists of their time. Artists are the culturalpreneurs of the times they live in and in some cases continue to effect society hundreds of years after their deaths. Pablo Picasso said it best, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
It is through the arts that the daily grind if life and its existence is celebrated with all its imperfections, pain, suffering, love joy, beauty and death. With art we celebrate our humanity and touch the celestial.

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