What makes art art? Sounds like a silly question, doesn’t it?
Have you ever wandered through a museum of modern art and seen some of the pieces hanging on the wall? You see blank canvases with a single dot of red paint, works of “art” resembling the stuff you did as a child, or pieces that look like the artist swallowed all of the paint on his easel and them vomited it back onto the canvas.
Art can be darn confusing sometimes–sorry, let me rephrase that: Art is darn confusing most of the time. Sure, I can appreciate the works of artists who painted pastoral scenes, landscapes, and sunsets (thank you Bob Rossi!), but when it comes to a lot of the works of Picasso, Mondrian, and other artists, I just don’t get it.
But they did, and that’s what makes it art!
I heard this quote from a TV show or movie I recently watched, and it stuck with me:
Art is art because it’s art, not because someone says it is.
For a moment, I didn’t understand what that meant. But when I sat down and dissected that statement, I realized the truth in it.
Think about what makes art art. When I paint a picture, compose a song, or write a story, it’s putting a bit of myself out into the universe. It’s taking emotions, thoughts, and feelings that are trapped within me, and it’s finding a release valve in the form of art.
That is what makes art art. It’s not about drawing, painting, or writing something that other people stop and say, “Damn, that’s artistic!” It’s about getting whatever is locked within you–that something you don’t know how to express–and putting it down on paper, canvas, or a Word document.
Art is the expression of man’s mind, heart, and soul, and it is the only medium that allows humans to truly express how they feel. You can only express yourself so much in conversation, but it’s through a picture, a story, a painting, or a song that your real thoughts and feelings come out. It’s why music, art, and literature lasts forever, because the emotions the artist put down on their paper, canvas, or music sheet speak to those same emotions within the person seeing, hearing, or reading it!