Saturday, July 14, 2007

What is Art?

It is the common fallacy of our society that art is merely restricted to paintings hung in galleries and such. We have been taught since childhood that art consists of literature, paintings, sculptures, music and the like. The true meaning of art is lost, buried deep beneath the hectic daily lives of humans. Masterpieces that convey a world of meanings, splashes of colours forming portals to fantastic worlds, weaving in an out in an eternal parabola is lost to the general public. They are not aware of the omnipresence of art, that art is everywhere and that we breathe and live art.

Basic art classifications include literature, paintings and music. The works of illustrious writers like Oscar Wilde have been passed down from one generation to another. Compositions of legendary musicians like Beethoven and Mozart resonated through the ages and paintings by artists like Leonardo da Vinci are admired till this very day. Yet is that all there is to art? Art is not mere watercolours slapped upon canvases – it is everything one is able to perceive, though humans tend to reject the blatantly obvious in favour of the safe and tried road of ignorance. There is more to art than meets the eye.

Permit me to provide unusual examples that people would not generally consider a form of art. Several attempts have been carried out to separate the world into science and art, with the former deliberated as the dominant half of humanity. It has been debated that the arts should not be considered inferior to science – pointless arguments in my opinion. The disputers do not realise that the fact art could never be separated from anything and art is also incorporated into so-called science. Proportions of animal and plant cells are artistically arranged by Mother Nature and the concocting of medicines for ailing patients is an art in itself.

Is not genetic engineering considered art? The tampering of genetics within entities, to remove the imperfect genes and replace them with desirable ones…is not the result of this science related branch as much a masterpiece as a novel by writers like Patricia C. Wrede? A human could be said to resemble a lump of clay awaiting its sculptors. Our personal experiences, our environment and other external factors are what shapes us and forces us to become the being as others perceive us now. Hence, it could rightly be said that even the formation of a human is an art in itself.

One does not have to be famous to have one’s work labelled as art for it is not the greatness of the deeds that one does but the extent of the influence of others at the moment. Our speech, thoughts and demeanour are ways we express ourselves, not to mention communicate with other beings. Successful art evokes emotions of all sorts, be it insignificant or dramatic feelings. The transmission of these sentiments is a common occurrence in our everyday lives and art lives within said sensations. Art provides us with the power to change the world and we achieve that by changing a person’s life, however inconsequential an impact it may appear to be.

By means of art, we are able paint our otherwise drab and monotonous world with colours and beauty. One does not require a trained eye to recognise and appreciate art but merely a heart that is willing to accept expressions of any form. It could be said that the very subsistence of mankind is art in itself for it allows us to reach out beyond the generally impenetrable wall of humanity and touch the hearts of others. Our memories and imprints are immortal – they exist in different forms of art and live on long after our fleshly bodies have fully disintegrated.

1 comment:

CLF said...

Heheh very good example essay for the common GP question, What is Art?

Which lecturer teach you GP btw?