The contemporary art has such features as simplicity, unusual abstractionism, surrealism, and futuristic motives. The beginning of the 20th century marked the revolution in everything: in outlook, vision and perception of the world and this revolution are evident in the art. It has become even more debatable because many people fail to distinguish real art and make it business to bring profits.
It is difficult the define the meaning of the word “art”, as it is abstract and differs from person to person. Without a doubt, art is a way of expression of human emotions, forms, colors, and abstract ideas. Other people suppose that it is impossible to define the notion of art due to its abstractionism and depth. Art is the activity or product of the human activity that has an aesthetic and communicative purpose. This essay intends to explore the meaning of art, how other people see and perceive it. It analyzes examples of art and factors that will be helpful for making its definition.
Art is a way of reflecting the reality trying to decorate it with more colorful paints and expressing of feelings and emotions through different forms. It is full of mysticism, based on sensory perception, and one should analyze it with a reason and heart to be not only logical but objectively emotional. Art is full of symbolism that provokes analysis, reflection and criticism. Omitting one of these aspects will prove the emptiness of the artwork.
I believe that pictures, music, and paintings created with the commercial purpose cannot be real art. Artworks created for getting profits to fail to be art. Without doubt, art can be sold, but first of all, it should inspire, charm, magnetize and provoke feelings. Commercial “art” intends to get more customers. As a result, it can be fashionable or branded, but not masterpiece and eternal. Fashionable paintings for sale do not express a real state of affair, emotions, and feelings. Not without a reason, the proverb says: “Life is short, and art is eternal”. “Art works” for commerce can be exciting and admiring only for a short period of time due to its primitive meaning. As to such painters as William Turner, their art is eternal.
My favorite pieces of art are paintings by Joseph Mallord William Turner, especially his artwork The Shipwreck. The Shipwreck refers to romanticism, and its subject is landscape. At first, it was displayed at Tate Britain. The painter created the beautiful composition of this masterpiece with the help of lights, color palette, brushstrokes, and tone. The painting shows the inferiority of man vs. nature. Joseph Mallord William Turner pays attention to the catastrophe in the sea making it realistic and contradictive at the same time.
The Shipwreck is an art because it is symbolic and reflects the feelings and emotions of the audience which admires it. The sea is depicted here as the fury and anger of the nature addressing to humanity. It becomes evident that the sea here acts like a human being and shows its dissatisfaction and negative feelings to humanity. The ship is a symbol of people that wrecked because of the conflicts and contradictions to nature. The mood of The Shipwreck is gloomy and disastrous. This painting is my favorite piece of art because it is full of meanings and ambiguity. When I look at The Shipwreck, I feel fear, proud, admiring and pleasure. For me, this painting is like the prediction that nature will punish humanity for its negligent attitude to it.
I appreciate the contrast of the power of nature (sea) to the weak, uncertain and corruptive existence (crew at the ship). At first, I saw The Shipwreck at school, and I could not stop admiring it. Despite that fact I was not in the inspiring surrounding, I forgot about the reality and stood still. Without a doubt, the place where one observes artworks is crucial. However, if a person deals with real art, he/she will be absorbed completely in it.
Interviewing my classmates, I understood that their vision of art differed from mine. My friend believed that even an item of clothing can refer to art as it is a result of human activity and creativity. Most of my classmates' associated art with creativity. However, to my mind feelings and emotions are more crucial when it comes to art. Others supposed art to be a way of transformation of the ideas in every culture across time and space. It is worth to admit that all students believed that art had an aesthetic function.
Most of my classmates had stereotypical thinking referring only painting and music to art. However, in the present times, art penetrates in every aspect of human’s life. As the definition of art is open, debatable and subjective, every opinion has right for existence. As a result, all respondents supported the fact that art is changeable. One should mention that all interviewees needed time and efforts to respond to every question, especially they felt difficulties in the art defining. I was also impressed with the art tastes of my classmates, for example, Nude Foot by Daniel Greenberg. The student cited: “It impressed me by its conceptual meaning and double nature. The first aspect of the painting is what one sees, and the second aspect is what it hides behind its colors and images, which is its real message. Abstract expressionism of Nude Foot impresses, astonishes, inspires and even confuses. Daniel Greenberg is on the boundaries between imagery and physicality. Gelatin silver print gives some magic to every painting”.
Another student characterized the notion of art using contemporary artworks. For him, Robert Irwin with his installations was the best example of real art. His installations are combinations of cubism, minimalism, and expressionism. However, in spite of this, they look organic and natural as Robert Irwin ruins the frontiers between imaginary and real worlds. He tries to turn reality into abstraction and abstraction into reality. Robert Irwin belongs to post-minimal period. He supports the ideas of dematerialization and orients on the viewer of his paintings. The artist proves that art has experiential nature and should refer to the economy of formal means (space, compositions, and colors). As a result, his works are abstract and conceptual.
In conclusion, one should say that there is no common definition of art. However, every person has his/her own. The examples of art vary from music and painting to architecture, dancing, and even video games. It is absurd to refer to video games and profitable works to real art. They fail to be art due to their purposes and surface meaning. The results of the interview have shown that the tastes differ within a group. Some students were keen on cinema or music, others on painting and architecture. The definitions of art of students were determined by their favorite kind of art and their vision of it. Music and painting were the most favorite examples of art. However, there were students who believed that video games also belong to art. Most of all, students associated their feelings and life situations with their favorite artworks.