Saturday, 1 September 2012

Understanding Art

Understanding Art

By Redi Zartey

Art is anything that people add to their 'output' which is

not functionally necessary and is other than the default

properties of that output. The word "art" has been derived

from the Latin word 'ars', which, loosely translated,

means "arrangement" or "to arrange". This is the only

universal definition of art, that whatever it is was at some

point arranged in some way. There are many other

colloquial uses of the word, all with some relation to its

etymological roots. This word comes from the Greek

technic meaning art.

Art and science are usually treated diagonally opposite to

each other. While science means some phenomenon

resulting in truth, which is universal and objective in

nature. In other words, science findings can be repeated

under the same set of circumstances anywhere in the

world at any given point of time. Same cannot be said of

art. Art, on the other hand is purely subjective in nature.

Take for example, a painting - while one calls it a

masterpiece, same feelings cannot be expected from

other individual.

Art can roughly be divided into two, namely philosophical

art and aesthetic art. The philosophical type of art

involves human figures for some purposive actions. In

other words, philosophical art depicts human condition or

it is the conceptual frame of mind of the artist.

Aesthetic art, on the other hand, shows the perceived

frame of mind. Two examples will help illustrate these

two points of view - a Mona Lisa painting is philosophical

art, while a demon being killed by a super human is

aesthetic. These two categories are also called classical

and modern art respectively.

There are other ways of classifying art - major among

them being architecture, design, painting, music,

drawing, literature, performing art, etc. While these have

been (and still are) traditional forms of art performed by

human kind, newer forms of art have emerged with the

advent of technology. Some of the later era art forms are

games, animation, movie, computer art, shooting, etc.

Two of the most researched areas of interest to artists,

critiques and archeologists has been the art movement

(or art history) and art school.

An art movement is a typical style or tendency in art with

a specific common philosophy, followed by a group of

artists during a restricted period of time (ranging from a

few months to years or decades). Art school is any

educational institute offering education to its students on

various forms of art.

Birth of art gave rise to another group of individuals - art

critics. Art critics study and evaluate a piece of art. Its

main purpose is to rationalize the evaluation of art, and

ridding of any personal opinion affecting the work of art.

Art criticism today deploys systematic and formal

methods to evaluate the piece of art.

Museums are known to nurture and store work of arts

across the world. Early era museums were patronized by

the then kings and emperors. Today these are

maintained by governments or private trusts with or

without public money. Three major museum institutes are

British Museum, Museum of Modern Art, New York and

Galerie des Offices in France.

Understanding art in its totality is almost an impossible

task for a human being. There are over 3,600 terms in art

to be understood. And these are not definitive in nature.

Art is when you are free to redefine these.

redi zartey is the owner of Art Diz [] which is a premier resource for art information. for more information, go to []

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