What is Art?


I have a few paintings situated around my house so when guests enter they are greeted by the paintings in all their grandeur! I consider my paintings art because they are unique to the person who painted them and I see value in them.

Art can only be valued by the eye of the viewer and thus their appreciation for it. Art also has a personal connection with the viewer. There is an expression, “A Picture is worth a Thousand Words”, in regards to paintings. What one person may appreciate as art may be considered as garbage to another. The appreciation of art greatly depends upon the perspective of the viewer. Art can be something that symbolizes sophistication or it can be something someone has a personal connection with. For instance, a signed baseball from Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants, would be considered art if it was framed inside a glass case then put on display. Perhaps, that same ball can be tossed inside a shoebox and placed under a bed. In one case, the ball is considered art because it’s proudly put on display for all to see and appreciate. On the other hand, the ball is tossed into a shoe box never to be seen or appreciated by anyone.

Art is unique. It is something that is not easily reproduced. A music artist such as Celine Dion has the ability to sing and sing very well. She is a musical artist, because nobody else in the world sounds like her. She is unique and offers value to the music world. Not everybody can sing, dance, write music, act, or paint, otherwise we would not have an appreciation for such things. 

It’s not only the fact that a huge painting is framed inside a custom gold leaf wood frame that makes it impressive, but more importantly, it is the content of the painting itself that defines its character and subsequent value to the viewer! What does the painting represent? What is the story behind the painting. What is the message in the painting. This particular painting, in my house, is the scene of a European harbor packed full of ships. The point of view of the painting is a window overlooking the busy harbor. There are people gathered on the docks and cargo handlers unloading crates. Smaller boats are transporting patrons across the harbor. The meaning behind this painting to me is socialization. The painting is essentially a snapshot of a historical period in time.

There is a common belief system that owners of fine art are wealthy and sophisticated in some way. The taxonomy associated with having such a huge piece of art hanging on the wall may reflect positively upon the individual owner. Art can be something as simple as a child’s drawing or as sophisticated as a Red Skelton painting. Whatever you define as art, be sure to appreciate it and don’t forget the meaning behind why you you initially found it compelling to you.

Speaking in regards to paintings as art, I don’t think I will find “Painter” in any occupational manual, but I know that many painters do get paid for their work. Thinking about the greatest artists since man walked the earth, we have: Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir, Monet, Diego Rivera, to name a few. Did they ever get paid for their paintings? I believe that these great artists did not find money and riches as the motivation for their work. In my mind I would like to believe that true artistry comes from pure and raw talent that no one can deny or replicate. I’ve bought paintings before, not very often but I have some very nice pieces, and I love them!!! Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I’ve bought paintings from the guy in front of Starbucks, we’ve all seen him, the guy who paints out of his garage, and sells them with a huge selection of frames to choose from. I’ve bought paintings from strip malls before. Can one make a living selling paintings, I believe so, but it all depends on how well you paint and what you paint about and how well you market yourself.

Artists come in many forms as well, such as, a musical artists. Singers are considered artists because an enormous amount of talent is required. There’s uniqueness in that particular artists style of singing and/or the words are very compelling. Many musical artists are very wealthy individuals because they are marketed by the big record labels. They have these people at the record labels called “A&R” Execs, Artist & Repertoire, and their sole and primary function is to seek out and discover new talent hoping to find the next great new artist. Each artist has something unique about them and their work. After all, that’s what adds value to non-artist consumers that would like to hang that painting on the wall or listen to the latest mp3.

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