Monday, May 13, 2013

Criticisms Of Criticism: What is "art"?

How does one define what “art” is?
Webster’s dictionary defines “art” as “a skill acquired by experience, study or observation.” In this case, that definition could apply to a variety of things, like the art of bridge-building or the art of plumbing.
It is really because of the vagueness of what exactly constitutes art that makes it difficult to say what is and isn’t art. For example, are all paintings art? If so, that would imply there is little difference between a fantastic painting like the Mona Lisa, and something like little Jimmy’s finger painting that he made during art hour.
The same can be said for any other art form, such as movies. If all movies are art, then what’s the difference between “Vertigo” and “Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon?”
And I believe the answer comes back to that definition of art - it’s a skill.
When looking at film, book, painting, etc., and you can tell that there is a certain amount of skill, heart, effort, passion and hard-work put into it, then I believe that not only is it just a painting, but it’s also art. 
In other words, not all paintings or movies are art. Only some of them are. How do we know which ones are art and which ones aren’t? That’s one of the reason critics exist.

Webster's Dictionary:

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