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When Is Art Not Really Art?

Art is everywhere. Tomb paintings in Egypt, the Sistine chapel in Italy, photography, cave paintings, tattoos, the Greeks, comics, African tribal art, nail designs, the Mayans, hairstyles, graffiti. The list never ends. It is everywhere on Earth during all time periods. There is every style of art imaginable and more. But when is art not art? This is a question that has been asked for years with no real answer coming to light. The most commonly accepted theory is that art is when the artist has captured the spirit of what is being painted, drawn, etc.Most consider art to be something aesthetically pleasing made by an artist with a specific medium. However, there are issues with this definition. One thing may be appealing to one person and not to another. A painting of the Virgin Mary may be fantastic to one person and the ugliest painting ever to be made to another. Art can be made by people who are not really considered artists. There are plenty of people who simply draw in their spare time and are not ‘professional’ artists. And then there is art that is made digitally, which some people do not consider to be a medium. Check out the website DeviantArt and there is tons of it.

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Starting with the first issue there is only one thing to be said. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. (Joann) Some find Andy Warhol’s famous pop art absolutely hideous and totally overrated while others hang copies proudly in their homes and buy matching furniture. There is no proven way to prove what is art and what is not without there being controversy. The closest humans have ever come to agreeing on art is the groups of fans that surround certain artists or artworks. It is simply a matter of opinion. And opinions, as e…

…e with generations to come. This is what all artists try to achieve. Some doing so, others not. But, in the end, everyone still wonders what defines art. Millions of normal people, scholars, painters, students, taxi drivers, teachers, and bus riders have not been able to find out. So here is the question. Do you know?

Works Cited

Maraviglia, Marilina. “What Do We Really Mean By Art?.” Smashing Magazine. July 23, 2010. Print.

Joann, Haley. “Beautiful Art” Study Mode. Blaine Vess and Chris Nelson, April 2012. Online Research Paper. May 09, 2014.

Ganguli, Ankita. “When High Art Meets Low Art” Hindustan Times. December 18, 2013. Print.

Tolstoy, Leo. What Is Art? Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1996. Print.

Dy-Anne. “Culture and Class Issues in Determining High vs Low Art Forms” Science 360 Colette Georgii, March 2, 2007. E-magazine. May 13, 2014.

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