The Definition of Art in the Modern World
The art form can be defined as a form of artistic expression that employs the creative human imagination to design, create, and produce an original work of art. Art is a broad spectrum of human activity involving the deliberate use of imaginative imagination to communicate beauty, technical skill, emotion, or other unique personal meanings. A variety of other human activities fall under the larger umbrella of art as well. Individuals who engage in a number of these activities with an art form tend to share a number of common characteristics, but each artist has his/her own approach to art.
The definition of art is influenced by a number of different theories, most significantly from the philosophy of aesthetics. According to this school of thought, art and beauty are completely different things and the term ‘art’ refers to anything that satisfies the definition of beauty. In fact, all forms of art can be seen as aesthetic, even if they do not fit within the scope of aesthetics. More specifically, this school of thought believes that there are two separate and independent standards of aesthetic appreciation, which include the beauty standards of the eye and the moral/rightful standards of the mind.
The other definition of art refers to the importance of the presence of meaning in art. The majority of contemporary art scholars agree with this second definition of art because it allows for the existence of a language and value system independent of the aesthetic one. This value system includes both the standard of beauty and the significance system of the mind. In essence, the art may be examined on its own terms and examined in relation to its own inherent meanings and purposes.
While both definitions of art are important to the study of art, neither clearly defines the essence of art. For example, it is difficult to argue that the beauty of a painting has a direct affect on the emotional response it elicits. In fact, some believe that without the emotional response, the beauty of the painting would have no defining essence or purpose. However, even if beauty is not directly related to the emotional response, it can still be considered to exist as a subjective, aesthetic quality that imparts a particular feeling of aesthetic appreciation. The meaning of beauty, then, can be found in the universal qualities of art, which are not dependent on the presence or absence of a physical or physiological response.
To further complicate matters, other philosophers and critics define art in relation to culture and time, claiming that it exists in both contexts but has a particular definition based on its historical manifestations in specific eras. In other words, each era defines art in relation to its own cultural norms and beliefs. The more controversial definition of art is the hyper-dependence of art with time, placing it in a void of its own historical specificity. Proponents of this definition of art assert that art’s very conception and development represent the contingency and independence of the human experience from its historical context.
In popular use, the term “art” has been associated with a certain type of artistic production, usually described as a form of artistic creation used to bring aesthetic pleasure. Other definitions of art relate it to the role of the artist in creating the work of art, claiming that art has the capacity to communicate an idea or provide entertainment. Still, most definitions of art to refer to the ability of a person or group to communicate and interpret art. In addition to these broad definitions, there is an increasing debate as to whether or not art actually exists. With more people drawing on art as a medium of expression, art has come to represent more than just an object made to beautify and entertain.