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What Art Is

Here's a question which people wonder about everyday.  What is art?  It's something of a vague and nebulous term.  It means different things to different people.  However, there are a few aspects which are common to all forms of art.  That's our topic of discussion today.

Cramer Imaging's fine art photograph of the Union Pacific 844 Steam Engine on a train track at sunset
First and foremost, art is creation.  Art is about creating something for the world to partake of.  Most of the time, it's beauty which art strives to create.  Sometimes it's shock value and provoking thinking.  Either way, it's creating something new for the world.  The creation is much of the satisfying part for the artist.

Second, art is about expression.  Whether your inspiration for creating the art comes from being on top of the world or from being ground under its heel, art expresses a piece of who you are.  It comes from your soul no matter how dark or light it is at the time.  When people experience your art, they should get some idea of what you were feeling at the time you created it.

Art is also a window into who you are as an artist.  People can learn a lot about you depending upon which art medium you choose to use.  They already know that you are a creative person just by the fact that you created something.  What they can learn is what moves you.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of the Virgin River and mountains at sunset in Zion's National Park, Utah
Try describing this photo's message to someone who has never seen it before.
If you choose music, then you are moved by sound.  If you choose photography, then you are moved by what the world around you has to offer.  If you choose jewelry-making, then you are moved by creating beautiful things for others.  If you choose sculpture of some form, then you are moved by shaping the elements of the earth.  The list goes on.

Art is a message to the viewer or listener.  It conveys a message to you when you choose to participate in the experience.  It can be happiness, nostalgia, class and sophistication, beauty, etc.  It is your job as the recipient to properly interpret the message you are receiving.  The more you experience the art, the clearer the message can become.

Art is something which must be experienced.  There's absolutely no good way to describe a beautiful piece of music or a stunning photograph in words.  You simply have to experience the art for yourself.  That is the way of things especially with the best art.  You must experience it to understand it.
Perhaps what art is can best be summed up with the following quote by Jerzy Kosinski: “The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.”  This makes what you, as the participant, take away from the art itself into the most important part of any art you experience.

This post first appeared on Cramer Imaging, please read the originial post: here

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What Art Is


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