What is art?

[caption id="attachment_302" align="alignleft" width="287" caption="Artist Ann Rea"]Artist Ann Rea[/caption] This morning as I sit sipping my coffee and pondering what to post I decided to go to  Wikepidia and look up the definition of art. “Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics.” “It has been defined as a vehicle for the expression or communication of emotions and ideas, a means for exploring and appreciating formal elements for their own sake…” “Leo Tolstoy identified art as a use of indirect means to communicate from one person to another.” “Benedetto Croce and R.G. Collingwood advanced the idealist view that art expresses emotions, and that the work of art therefore essentially exists in the mind of the creator.” During 16th century Renaissance the first art academies were founded and in the 19th century a reaction to the established formal structure of art erupted. Artists rejected the standards created by the Renaissance tradition. They began to reject that art means beauty.  With the development of photography, artists/painters questioned the value of creating an illusion of reality as art’s purpose. They also recognized that paint is simply pigment and the canvas a two-dimensional surface.   Art for art’s sake was the focus. I ask myself what is art.  I believe that art is self-expression with a high degree of technical mastery acquired over time through discipline and that the artist is one with a passionate need to express themselves. Therefore, I believe that art needs an audience to develop and that generally means art patrons. The value of art is obviously subjective.  If it moves you, if you keep coming back to it, it may be art worth having, something you would benefit from living with.
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