What Is Art Essay, Research Paper
Art can mean many different things to many different people and was one of the earliest ways in which man has expressed him or herself to others, whether it was through cave drawings or hieroglyphics. It does not begin or end with just drawing or painting, items typically considered art, or the many other recognized facets of art including architecture, drama, literature, sculpting, and music. The writing of Beowulf, one of the earliest known written prose, or the Greek plays which have influenced drama since their inception, are considered some of the greatest forms of art in history. Art can allow us pleasure just simply through the process of creating. Art can allow us to express ourselves to give us better insight into our own feelings. Art can, in contrast, allow us to stir emotions from within the viewer, occasionally leaving the viewer with an awakened or refreshed outlook. Some may only consider a work as art if it requires a particular skill from the artist, however, art can actually be viewed as simply another form of communication. No matter what form this expression takes, whether dance, poetry or the painted canvas, people have reasons for pursuing the need to create.
Dance, as a form of art, allows the person or persons to express themselves through the movements of their bodies, whether the dancing takes place on a stage, in a theater, or on the floor of a dance club. This non-verbal art form can allow a dancer to express stories and strong feelings of emotion, such as sadness, sexuality and joy or may just simply offer an outlet for energy. Dancing as a fine art can incorporate numerous other artistic outlets as well, ranging from the writing of the story, the music and the musicians, the designing of sets to the creation of simple or lavish costumes. This bringing together of artistic expressions from numerous other sources can be witnessed in other forms, such as plays and festivals, which allow a diverse collective to share thoughts and styles, these being the most public of art forms.
Poetry is another art form that offers an environment to the creative or expressive need. Writing poetry can be used as an aid to help think through the conflicting emotions that accompany life. It is an art much as gardening is. An inspiration for a poem can be a seed. The seed is planted on paper and usually, though not always, after tending to it the seed begins to take shape until it suddenly blooms. Poems such as Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty”, Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and Shakespeare’s “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day” all began as seeds and have long since been considered works of art.
Painting and drawing—probably one of the highest acknowledged forms of art—incorporates all aspects of the need to create. The artwork can be produced simply for the desire to create, whether it is just the study of the human body or the recreation of nature through the various colors, textures and the styles available to the artist. Nature, commonly reflected in paintings, serves as a great source of inspiration to artists. Painting can also allow the artist to express his or her own emotions by projecting them onto the canvas, demonstrating an ability to communicate thoughts and feelings through a material object. It is possible to express entire emotions, thoughts or stories within a frame, allowing the eye to capture everything that the artist wishes to convey, or more often forcing the audience to participate in the painting in order to achieve the meaning that may not be obvious from the first glance. Whether intentional or not, a painting can be one of the most stimulating to the feelings of an audience, sometimes leaving a lasting impression upon the soul that viewed it.
Art may be described by simply saying that it is an act of expression used by a person. This description prevents boundaries from binding any art form one may choose, because the potential of the arts are and should remain limitless. Critics have spent centuries trying to create a clear definition of art. There is not nor can there ever be a clear explanation because it is ever-changing and expanding beyond any confines people may try to impose, whether self-imposed or influenced by critics. Defining art is only limited to the imagination of the creator and audience. For something to be classified as art it is first dependent upon who you ask, which can not help but be influenced by their personal tastes concerning what they find pleasurable and what form the art takes that best suits them. “When the flush of a new-born sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold, our father Adam sat under the tree and scratched with a stick in the mould; And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart, till the Devil whispered behind the leaves, “It’s pretty, but is it Art?” from Rudyard Kipling’s The Conundrum of the Workshops.