What is art?!


I just loved it. From the arguments about whether a toilet can be classed as art when placed in a gallery, to the classifications of art. It just stuck in my head so much so, that even now when I’m writing it weeks later, I can still remember it.

There is a big cultural shift going on at the moment, well there has been for a fair few years. Many people, including my lecturer used to buy magazines and similar to look at art. Yet now everyone has laptops so they’re looking on blogs and websites for art. This means we may rely on social media to get opinion on art rather than views in a newspaper for example. Is this a good or bad thing? Well in some ways good, its easier to circulate views and get following online. Although you get more of a feel for the art, and more of an understanding maybe when you have the art in front of you, there in the magazine to hold and view. For photography particularly, its nicer to have your images printed, a lot of the time it looks better that way than being digitalised. I don’t believe that we will eventually get rid of magazines, because its a way of life for some people. Its never going to out-date, people will always like the physical copy. Its especially needed in the advertising world.

At the beginning of the seminar, we were asked to define art. My response being:
  • Created by an artist
  • Appreciated
  • An Interpretation
  • Something you think about/ consider before photographing or making. Some may ask the valued question; How can it be art if its spontaneous? For example there are many famous photographs around the world created from instantaneous decisions or quick snap shots.

Many questions were thrown around the room, for example: Is the art THE art? Or is the process the art? Can a documentary of something be art? Is it classed as art because it creates different views and arguments?

Are we constrained by what is legal? Because shouldn’t art be expressive? What if you copy someone else’s work and make it your own? Can it still be classed as your art?

We came across the artist Marcel Duchamp who challenged the notion of what is art. He rebelled that art had to be beautiful. I agree with his opinion, there is a lot of art out there which I don’t understand how it can be classed as art. For example those overly expressive art paintings which just look like a young child created. Basically I don’t think anything simple enough for anyone to create should be classed as art. Maybe i’m saying art should be a craft?

“You cannot define electricity. The same can be said of art. It is a kind of inner current in a human being, or something which needs no definition.” Marcel Duchamp.

Art cannot be classified or defined. Everything is art. We all interpret the notion of art in different ways, we all have different views.

How would I classify art?- Something which took skill to create, had a concept behind it, and has viewers and believers. For its one thing believing yourself that its art, but you need to make others believe that too. Art can be your own interpretation of anything, but it needs those viewers to create different views and arguments for and against for it to be popular.


The Art Story Contributors (2014) Marcel Duchamp [online] available from <http://www.theartstory.org/artist-duchamp-marcel.htm&gt; [24 November 2014]