My Definition of Art
Art has become an inevitable part of life. It is a product of a contrived human activity which consists in selecting or shaping materials with the purpose of conveying particular feelings, emotions, ideas or visually interesting forms. Art basically divides into three main groups; visual, literary, and performing. Visual arts are forms of expression which appeal to the eyes through painted images, as well as to the sense of space through carved or molded materials. Examples of it are drawings, paintings and photography; sculpture, architecture, decorative arts, crafts, and other visual works that combine materials or forms. Literature, on the other hand, refers to a written and oral genre that contains artistic value both to generators and the audience. It includes poetry, folktales, oral and written narratives. Finally, performing arts generally encompass all forms of creative activities such as dance, opera, drama, and music. Sometimes people use this term to describe a skill or an activity, for instance, the art of brick making or the art of adventure, among others.
As a compulsory component of culture in society, art provides means through which different people can express their imagination and personal vision. It offers a range of intellectual and emotional pleasures to the audience or its consumers and is an important instrument of representing all cultures. However, art is presumably regarded as a lie that helps people to see the truth more clearly. This expression is attributed to Pablo Picasso, the great Spanish painter, and artist, who experimented with an assortment of styles and techniques by which he influenced the course of modern art. This essay provides a balanced critique of Picasso’s belief by focusing on different features of various artistic genres and the general significance of art in society.
The Nature of Artistic Genres
Considering the way various artistic genres are contrived by artists and artisans, the credence that “ art is a lie that helps people to see the truth more clearly” is quite plausible. Every artistic work is a combination of a number of techniques and materials which are skillfully brought together to denote a certain degree of reality when viewed or listened to by consumers. However, usually, the secret about reality lies with the artist. In visual arts, for instance, color is normally applied in drawings and paintings to accentuate the rhythm and contrasts that reflect the natural views of the landscape. Bright and dark paints are used interchangeably to enhance the tone of images as if they were illuminated by natural light entering from a particular direction.
Similarly, drawings usually have distinct sizes that are proportional to real objects; where some would appear to be on the forefront as others in the background. The front images would always appear clearer and nearer the observer whereas the background images would be blurred and farther from the viewer. This principle automatically articulates the idea of perspective in the natural setting when one looks at the picture from different angles. More often than not, artists would even employ imagination to contrive images that match the actual conventional beliefs and expectations of various societies. For example, the drawings of angels, Satan, ogres, the Garden of Eden, the settings of heaven and hell, among others, are purely people’s imaginations but none of the viewers have ever questioned their credibility. At a glance, the observers would easily and quickly place the painted images in various natural contexts regardless of the lies that are evident in the drawing.
As pertains to literature, a lot of lies still dominate in the folktales, narratives, poetry, and journalism. Many tales that often relate to the audience are mere fiction where events, characters, and settings are built purely on imagination. However, they are creatively structured in a manner that their traits and appearance coincide with real natural objects which the audience or consumers can easily relate to. The selection of terminologies in poetry exists not only to depict the relationship between different words but also to unleash the rhyming effect between the words and the phenomena they represent in real life. Journalism is another field of art where lies are applied in abundance. The pressmen usually creatively edit and exaggerate the content to be broadcasted or printed in newspapers to a certain level to suit the expectations and beliefs of the audience. For instance, motion pictures are usually manipulated by adjusting the pace at which events occurred to bring out certain realities in which people would believe. Many advertisements that usually lure people into the craving for certain products are mere lies which are fashioned skillfully to make items appear superior or relevant in the eyes of the audience.
Besides, the performing arts are widely popular despite constituting a greater percentage of lies. Music and drama, for instance, are usually composed of mere imagination where characters may seem to possess traits that are similar to the people and objects in real-life settings. The artists also make the content follow a particular rhythm that captures the attention of the audience triggering the sense of credible conviction in the themes contained in respective genres.
Significance of Art
People value art for different reasons. First, it is a mode of recreation for many individuals. Nearly everybody in the world enjoys such entertainments as listening to music, reading an interesting story, watching drama or fiction films. These artistic pieces of work reduce stress which originates from people’s hectic errands, giving them a soothing feeling. Such a manifestation of art is also a way of passing time and relaxing one’s mind especially after accomplishing a certain task. During celebrations, guests are usually entertained by a series of art to propagate a cheerful mood without which the feast would be boring.
In addition to that, art is full of educative content which enlightens the audience in a number of ways. Some genres serve specifically to pass certain important information which the audience may not have learned before. This feature is also valued as a mnemonic way of teaching and learning, which helps learners to grasp the concepts faster and for longer. Literature content such as novels, plays, poetry, songs, advertisements, and narratives are very important components of the curriculum in learning institutions, through which students identify and cultivate their inherent talents.
Apart from that, art conveys various warning messages to the audience about some looming danger or disaster. In ancient times, songs and narratives contained warnings to members of societies regarding certain practices that were considered taboo or abomination. People sang or retold these pieces of arts from generation to generation until it became a culture that would identify a community and distinguish it from others. In contemporary times, art is still serving that purpose mostly through media. Warning messages include morality, hygiene, family planning, weather and vagaries of nature such as landslides, floods, hurricanes, among others, and security matters. Here, artists employ terrific tactics in order to instill certain levels of fear in the audience which will, in turn, conceptualize the danger that would be the subject of the genre.
Besides, art, especially songs, is majorly used for the consolation of the bereaved people and also those who are heartbroken. Circumstances do arise in life, which brings pain to people. These are deaths, sickness, accidents, divorce and separation, loss of property, among others. Such situations are usually very difficult to cope with, and very often the victims would find their consolation in art, so as to regain enthusiasm to face the predicament more positively. In addition to that, songs play a very significant role in reinforcing brevity in times of desperation. For example, looking back in history, warriors sang encouraging songs during war periods to eliminate cowardice as they faced their adversaries. At the same time, lullabies also played a role in soothing babies whenever they were in gripe or when the mother would be away. Till now, these forms of art are regarded as important sections of modern life, as songs and dances still dominate at funerals and varied situations of difficulties which the society goes through at certain times.
Similarly, there are numerous compositions that are meant for people who expect to accomplish certain challenging tasks, such as examinations or competitions of any kind. Such arts are creatively tailored to encourage candidates to face their battles with a lot of confidence, though the artists themselves may have little or no knowledge at all concerning the situation. Candidates often believe in the messages contained in those genres and because of that, they end up performing better in their endeavors.
Furthermore, art is highly valued for praising of heroes and heroines, leaders, deities, as well as progenitors of the human race. Since time immemorial, songs and dances have been a popular component of worship in churches, mosques, temples and even traditional shrines. Although no one has ever seen the supreme God, artists usually craft imaginative compositions to describe the deities in a manner that augments belief among the faithful. In the past, some traditional societies, especially the Egyptians, used to make sculptures of images that were believed to represent holy characters, including their gods. They would then situate them in designated places and declare them sacred places where they would occasionally assemble to praise and worship their gods. Even in contemporary society, art has dominated religion in a way that many places of worship contain drawings, paintings, and sculptures denoting characters believed to be in heaven or in hell.
Despite that, art performs a crucial role in informing society about some aspects of life. For instance, the commercial sector is fully dominated by art. There are innumerable posters all over in the form of billboards, fliers, banners, sign boards, brochures among others, which contain creative images or slogans meant to popularize certain products and services of corporate entities. Alongside, there are numerous radio and television adverts which sensitize the public about the quality, price, and usage of particular goods. By means of this kind of art, many people usually find themselves enticed to purchase certain items owing to the manner in which the advert is designed.
Worth noting is that art is usually used to preserve the community’s history. Genres such as folktales, oral and written narratives, songs, rituals, paintings, and sculptures represented certain information that was relevant to respective communities. These genres would pass from one generation to another for the continuity of the communities’ beliefs and customs. In today’s society, countries, as well as organizations, have preserved their identities in various forms of art. Artifacts such as coat of arms, seals of presidents, presidential standards, national flags and anthems, parliamentary maces, organizational emblems, and logos, as well as legal tenders for various currencies, are examples of art through which people identify with their respective nations or organizations, and which preserve the history of those countries and organizations.
Alongside, various forms of art are momentously valued for ceremonial purposes especially, during the rites of passage. Whenever children are born, communities usually break into songs and dances to mark the commencement of a new life and continuity of the kin. Similar jubilations are replicated at different times of the children’s growth, naming, initiation, and baptism ceremonies, graduation, ordination, the inauguration of leaders, marriage, and even at death. Art embraces every achievement in one’s life together with giving thanks to all those who are instrumental in bringing about that success. In brief, art dominates every individual’s life from birth to death. Finally, it is highly valued as people’s occupations. Through various genres, artists usually earn a living by exchanging their masterpieces with money which helps them to secure their ends in life.
It is true to say that art is indeed a lie which is very significant in helping people to see truth more clearly. Without art, perhaps, life could be too boring as it is natural for people to be in dire demand for pleasure in certain situations. Due to art, there appeared many skills which have become the backbone of technological advancement and which have contributed to a lot of development in society. Although these lies that are embedded in different genres are necessary, it is necessary to take care to avoid unnecessary exaggerations which may hoodwink the audience into falling for risk deals. The concerned parties should come up with relevant regulations that would moderate art to safeguard its credibility, as well as protect the audience from maleficent excesses. Otherwise, the significance of art in the society will forever be greater magnitude as compared to the demerits. Many people around the world can testify accomplishing greater dreams in their lives through art without which they would be devastated.