Art is an ever-changing collection of human endeavors ranging from artistic creativity to express intellectual ability, beauty, strength, emotional energy, or creative ideas. The word “art” comes from the Latin phrase “artis” which means “doing.” It has come to represent a wide range of human activities from painting, pottery, sculpture, and music. This creative process continues to evolve into today’s technological advances. This article offers a simple description of the various types of art and where they can be found.
A number of definitions have attempted to define art through different methods. Many of these definitions contradict one another and some definitions remain the same even though they contradict each other. A few traditionalist definitions include the definition from the French Revolutionist, Benjamin Franklin, who stated, “I cannot learn an art, for there is nothing in art but what I can imagine.” Other traditionalists have adopted the phrase, “what you see is what you get,” to explain that original artworks are not necessarily artistic creations but merely potential opportunities for human expression.
Another group of traditionalists argue that art and artworks do not exist independently from humans while others argue that humans are the only capable of making art. For these traditionalists, art should not be considered a form of creativity but a form of aesthetic appreciation. They believe that the creation of art is more related to the emotions of people rather than the beauty of a work of art. The only criterion to be used by traditionalists when determining whether a painting is art or not is its ability to communicate and elicit emotion through its aesthetic components.
Other definitions of art include those developed by different schools of art in different cultures. These definitions refer to different kinds of art as diverse as theater, cinema, photography, printmaking, music, and dance. Modern art, on the other hand, refers to those works of art that are created in a completely digital environment and that do not necessarily reflect the culture of their creators. Modern art includes artworks produced for commercial purposes but which are influenced by the ideas and concepts of the creator. These types of works can include paintings, sculptures, and architectural pieces.
There are also different definitions of fine art. A number of academics define fine art as any painting that exhibits qualities such as beauty, intensity, significance, or imagination. Others, however, define fine art more narrowly, applying the term to visual and performing arts and literature. The term fine art was popularized by the French thinker Paul Sounes, who argued that there are distinct forms of aesthetic experience that can be categorized according to the range and quality of the materials used to make the work.
Each of the various definitions of art has its own advantages and disadvantages, as well as varying interpretive schemes. Modern art is generally seen as having emerged from the aesthetics of the abstract expressionism of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. However, some of the works of art created during this period have been criticized for being overly decorative or contrived, lacking in plot, relying too much on technical execution, and lacking an overall message. Post-modernists, on the other hand, argue that the style developed in response to the decline of modernism and the rise of a post-secular society based around individualism and aesthetic merit. In recent years, pop art and street art have been considered as part of the new modernism, although these definitions have been heavily colored by the political and social context in which they were produced.