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What Is Art? In The Context Of Jeanette Winterson's "Art Objects" And John Berger's "The Pocket"

807 words - 3 pages

Art has been a part of our life for as long as humanity has existed. For thousands of years people have been creating, looking at, criticizing, and enjoying art. I would like to address three questions: what is art, what is its purpose, and why has it survived for this long.First, what is art? Humanity has faced this question for many centuries. How can we distinguish between fine art and a beautiful poster? How can we call both Malevich's "Black Square" and Da Vinci's "La Joconde" art, yet not include some people's paintings into this category? I believe that the only things that distinguish these works are the artist and the artist's objective. The connection between what the artist means to achieve and what he achieves through the medium is what I believe classifies art. If what the artist meant to say is understood by at least one person in this world, when we can safely call that piece art. What classifies a masterpiece, however, is when not only one person understands what the artist was trying to say with the piece but when the majority does. Many people believe that the fine arts are elitist. Nevertheless, art is not something that you have to study to understand and enjoy. Art is something that captures the eye. Whether the artist is trying to communicate an emotion, an idea or something else, the most important thing is how well the audience receives it. However, art can also be shocking, something new. If a creative piece by an artist can spark the discussion of whether that piece is art or not, then it is art. Art is something that inspires people, something that transports us into different realities and moves us into the subconscious places that we did not know existed.What is the purpose of art? Art has some very practical purposes. For example, an art class might take a trip out to a local gallery simply for the purpose of looking at paintings and trying to reproduce them or to learn about the history of the arts. However, I do not believe that is the most important purpose of art. In Winterson's Art Objects, she claims, "the author is the vehicle of transformation ". I agree, except that I would say that art itself is the vehicle of transformation. As both Jonathan Berger in The Shape of a...

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