What is Art? Why it is important for us?
Art comes from the Latin ars, artis - way to be or act, conduct, skill, science, talent, craft. And Arts refers to the arts of drawing, painting, sculpture and architecture.
But the art is usually understood as human activities linked to aesthetic or communicative manifestations, made from the perception of emotions and ideas, with the goal of stimulating these instances of consciousness and giving a unique and different meaning for each piece of work.
The art is a human creation with aesthetic values (beauty, balance, harmony, anger...) that synthesize emotions, history, culture and feelings. It is a set of procedures used to carry out works, in which we apply our knowledge (technical skills). But the concept of art continues, today, subject of much debate, and remains, strictly speaking, undefined. But the specialized literature generally designates it as activities with creative and aesthetic characteristics.
‘Art is the expression of the perception of Beauty’. Simply, a man perceives something of beauty (the topic), and interprets it in their way, and expresses their interpretations and emotions acquired with this beauty in a piece of work. The work than reaches those who see it, instigating new interpretations, new emotions, and new reflections on the topic.
But, why art? How important is it in our lives?
I, Rafael, say, selfishly, that art is an escape. And escapes are needed. But that's what art is for me, above all. Besides that, it is a way, for me, to dream, and to force me to see the world in other ways, through what lurks in the mind of every artist, bringing knowledge and reflection from a new point of view on a particular topic. It is an escape from the real world, it gives us other options of vision, for us to experience this world in better ways.
A recently written article, by Casey Thomas Larsen, about the Alpine Fellowship, an artistic institution in Switzerland, founded by a FAA colleague of mine, Alan Lawson, who aims to teach classical painting and promote knowledge and philosophy on the subject of Art, speaks very well about the topic. The article describes a lecture by philosopher and Professor Roger Scruton.
"As one of the world’s most distinguished (and prolific) philosophers, Professor Scruton has written on subjects ranging from conservative politics and education, to hunting and the environment. His specialty, however, is aesthetics, the subject in which he completed his doctorate and is perhaps the world’s leading theorist. But the question of aesthetics is for Scruton never an isolated one. The things with which we surround ourselves, and the choices we make about what to admire, come to determine who we are. (...) For Scruton, beauty is a means to justify life – perhaps the only one – so not only is there little more important to discuss than the direction that art chooses to take, but there is no sphere of life that remains unaffected by its evolving trajectory."
Art affects us all, daily, in many ways. Art for me is a way to connect with emotions, and to become more human. Before, when there were no books, no movies or internet, works of art were the only escapes that people had. And that's why Art was created, wasn't it? To express and to make people feel. Artworks were made to celebrate life, real things around people, to convey ideas and feelings, tell stories, and history. People could read a story in a cave painting, in a sculpture, or in any other form of art.
"Art suggests a way of being, and invites us to live within its vision. It creates somewhere we want to be, a place we simultaneously inhabit while striving to reach, a destination that needs no justification other than itself." “The Art transports us to a new world within ourselves where we can learn and reflect, and change.” "The arts matter because they provide us with the chance to halt the march of time; to stand in front of ourselves and recognize what we’ve become. Perhaps even to judge what we see."
"Professor Scruton notes that much like love, art can lose its purity if diluted by excessive questioning. Often we must simply learn to care for a thing before asking in what its value consists. And since our time is of limited nature, the effort to reflect ourselves in art - if only temporarily - will always be more than the urge to put the long littleness of life on display"
And I think with this last phrase he meant that to reflect and mirror ourselves on the art is more important than the desire to express any mediocrity of every day life in any cheap form of art. But 'artistic truths' are changing. Our idea of what is art is changing. The 'ugly', nowadays, is also art. Art, today, is more than the search for beauty, but it’s also a means of social communication, where we may cover topics of social value. So, in addition to bringing us beauty, art is also something done with the purpose of making us think and reflect.
The link to the Article described:
The Alpine Fellowship. Classical Art Revived In Switzerland