Why is Fine Art Defined As More Than Just Paintings and Sculptures?


Why is Fine Art Defined As More Than Just Paintings and Sculptures?

Art is basically a broad spectrum of human activities which include an intention to exhibit aesthetic beauty, artistic skill, visual sense, emotional force, or other aesthetic sense, creative thinking, or an attempt to express some conceptual thoughts. In art, there are usually three defining periods, the Pre-Raphaelites in the 17th century, the Realists in the early to mid nineteenth century, and the Modernists in the twentieth century. In addition, there are a number of art movements and styles, such as Cubism, Fauvism, Impressionism, Fauvist painting, and Abstract Expressionism.

Other people, however, define art very differently, often not identifying a clearly identifiable beginning and ending. For instance, some may say that art started when art was created, while other say that art began when someone perceived a reality, an object, an idea, or a feeling and proceeded to alter it in some way, so that others may benefit from this change. Others may say that art only came into being when people started to recognize that what they had was worth displaying and passing on, whether it was beautiful or meaningful. Still others may point to culture, to the influence of other cultures, their norms and values, on whether or not art can be valid and should therefore be created and exhibited. Still others may point to politics, to the ever present struggle between the wishes of the people and the wishes of the powerful, between what society needs and what society wants. And still others still may simply say that art is the only meaningful communication, existing regardless of who makes it, what it says, and what it expresses.

In order to understand the complete definition of art, it is necessary to look beyond the surface of the art itself. Art is determined by the imagination. The whole point and purpose of art, according to the most respected of all definitions, is to put art on a level with reality, to make it ‘comparable’ to the real world. And this is not a trivial matter, since art and beauty are essentially both subjective, even if we use the term ‘art’ to refer to things that have objective, established meaning.

A good painting or sculpture does not set itself up as an objective, neutral entity on which to hang. It speaks volumes about the emotions of its creator, and expresses the artist’s feelings, beliefs, and emotions. Without a proper balance of these fundamental aspects of human life, art cannot take on any meaning at all. For example, an enormous work of art like a Mona Lisa would be nothing more than a pile of damaged and unrecognizable bones, re-decorated and re-painted from one image to the next – an art piece that even a trained artist would find difficult to interpret. It is this very emotional content that makes art worth having and holding: for no amount of technical information can ever obscure the emotional meaning of a masterpiece.

This is why so many artists feel such deep joy when they finish a painting or a sculpture. It is also why the most successful artists tend to have an unusual sensitivity to their own emotions. When a work of art is done well, it tells us about something deep in our nature. The true artist tries to understand how his artful imagination works; to realize that what we see is not only a painting or a sculpture – that the whole experience of creation is one of intense feelings and emotions, the product of a personal conflict between the artist and his subconscious mind.

This is why definition of fine art remains vague until you find a quality that transcends both human intuition and objective definition. If you find such quality, you can be sure that a painting or a sculpture you’ve seen has touched you in a unique way. It will be an amazing, powerful, moving representation of your deepest feelings, and it will change the way you look at the world forever.

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