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What is Art? Why is Art Important?

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What is Art Why is Art Important

“Art is the action through which a person consciously communicates an emotion they have experienced to others.” (Leo Tolstoy)

Tolstoy had a reputation for basing his writing on his own experiences, and his most well-known book, “War and Peace,” made extensive use of his involvement in the Crimean War.

Whether or not his definition of art is the finest, the fact remains that everyone views art differently depending on their own personal experiences with it.

What is Art?

There are numerous widely used definitions of art. few to cite:

Art is

  • any artistic production by a person
  • a means of self-expression
  • rests in the effectiveness of the action; the method is not magical
  • a process of producing visually appealing content
  • a manifestation of beauty (What is Beauty in Art?)
  • the mastery, a desirable method of operation
  • It’s a method, not a thing. E. H. Hubbard
  • the world’s most extreme manifestation of individualism
  • discovery and transformation of basic natural laws into gorgeous forms appropriate for human use (Frank Lloyd Wright)

Why is Art Important?

The argument from Van Jones that I appreciate the most and that best answers the question, “Why is art essential,” does it in a subtle way.

Using a graph, Van Jones demonstrated how the four facets of society interact with their various constituents.

Therefore, Vones illustrates why art is significant to our civilization.

The diagram that follows depicts our culture.

The powerful elites, the dependent masses, the government, cultural producers, and artists are what drive society.

Action is on the left, and ideas are on the right; elites are at the top, and the masses are at the bottom. There are internal and external acts.

Large sums of money are being spent by elites on the inside to sway politicians and policymakers. The ability to act internally has the potential to sway policy makers.

In order for the elected politicians to make laws that give us power, we at the grassroots set our demands and expectations for them to meet. What society actually desires is reflected in the masses (heart)

A common definition of “activity” on the left is measurable changes to policy. The “ideas” side on the right can be challenging to see. Here, rather than talking about actual objects, we are discussing a “headspace.”

Academic institutions and think tanks are important in fostering a culture of thought, even though they are not necessarily involved in the quick implementation of new policies.

While the right side, “ideas,” can be challenging to quantify, the left side, “activity,” continues to yield quantitative policy changes and new legislation. Although “head” discusses theories and academics, it is unable to provide policymakers any noteworthy contributions.

Artists are now involved in this scene.

Here, in the “heart space,” artists are represented on the side of ideas.

People can be moved by art in a special way because it inspires us, raises new issues, and arouses our interest, enthusiasm, and outrage.

Artists can bolster motivation and inspire others to take action. They do not think like academics or policymakers.

Artists have great, revolutionary, and imaginative ideas in their hearts.

This is why artists may inspire people to take action, making important contributions to culture and politics.

This is what gives art its strength.

Impact of Art on Politics, Culture, and People

Because it is a vital component of empowering people’s hearts, art plays a significant role in society.

This is the art of moving the elite and powerful in society to enact change when activists use images of youngsters experiencing poverty or injustice in their campaigns.

Similar to this, when photographers post images of locations devastated by war, it attracts viewers whose hearts ache for those in need.

People all across the world are entertained by great art when it is produced as music and film. This is art that influences society.

Street art is a very contemporary illustration of art in action. The painting at Kreuzberg, painted by the well-known Italian street artist Blu, sparked a variety of intense reactions that were deeply based in the divisions between East and West Berlin.

Who would have imagined that a wall painting of two masked characters attempting to reveal one another’s masks could elicit such intense feelings?

Now, the controversy around this mural is a very separate topic. Regardless of whether the mural had a positive effect on society, it is undeniable that a well-executed work of art may have a significant influence on it.

Art is also a remarkable mode of depicting culture from all over the world

You can tell a Zen garden is a Chinese tradition when you see one in Sydney or San Francisco.

Likewise, you may recognise origami, a Japanese art form, when you see paper swans swarming a lovely wedding celebration.

You can tell a movie is from India when it has Bollywood music and dancing in it. Art has the ability to take cultural practises from their original locations, move them to other locations, and incorporate them into those new locations without losing their original identity.

There, these artistic expressions can be used to amuse, raise awareness of, and even encourage visitors to accept different cultures, regardless of how bizarre or exotic they may appear.

In Art as an Experience, John Dewey makes the following inference:

“When we immerse ourselves in the spirit of African-American or Polynesian art, barriers disintegrate and constricting prejudices vanish. This insensible melting enters straight into attitude, making it far more effective than the alteration brought about by reasoning.

In a very globalised world, this is extremely crucial.

Fighting racism, intolerance of other cultures, and other types of unjust societal segregation has been a major contribution made by art.

The expectation is that nations will become more tolerant and accommodating of those who cross their boundaries as immigration becomes a global trend.

By ensuring that identities and their cultures receive the proper attention globally, art contributes to making that happen.

Why is Art so Powerful?

The easiest response to this query might be that art affects us on an emotional level.

Because it has the capacity to affect our society, politics, and even the economy, art is powerful. When you experience a moving piece of art, you may feel it reaching right to the centre of you and inspiring you to take action in the real world.

In conclusion, among other things, the following reasons make art powerful:

  • People can learn about virtually anything with its help. It can raise awareness and convey information in a way that many people can readily understand. Because of art, education becomes an even larger equaliser of society in a world where some people don’t even have access to a good education.
  • It encourages a generation that is presently absorbed in technology to appreciate culture. In fact, it could be argued that without art, our history, culture, and customs would be even more at risk of extinction.
  • It dismantles social, economic, and cultural obstacles. Art can be utilised to create a fair playing field for conversation and expression, even while it can’t truly do anything to end poverty or advance social justice on its own. Everyone has feelings and unique experiences, which is why everyone can relate to art. Therefore, regardless of one’s social position, economic status, or political allegiance, everyone may learn to appreciate art.
  • It has access to higher mental levels. You can learn more through art than just information. Instead, it provokes reflection on current concepts and motivates creation of new ones. Because it is a specific talent that releases the mind’s potential, creativity is a type of intelligence. In fact, studies have shown that exposure to the arts can improve your knowledge of other subjects.

The fact is that people have realised the impact that art can have.

We have heard of people being insulted, threatened, censored, and even killed because of their artwork several times throughout history.

The people who are causing these reactions, whether they are a hostile government or a dissident party, do it because they are aware of how much an artist’s work may influence local politics.

However, in the hands of good people, art has the power to restore hope or inspire courage in a community that is going through a lot of adversities.

Great Art elicits powerful sentiments and tells meaningful stories

Film, music, theatre, and popular culture are all examples of art that strive to amuse and uplift audiences. However, the art starts to diversify when movies, music, or plays are created for a particular audience or objective.

Films, for instance, can be produced to promote cultural appreciation or awareness. Songs may be written to evoke particular feelings, provide inspiration, or uplift listeners’ spirits.

With such iconic pieces of art as Elizabeth Sirani’s “Portia Wounding Her Thigh,” which conveys the idea that a woman is now willing to remove herself from gender bias, women began to make a name for themselves during the Victorian era in England.

The action in the artwork shows a lady acting with the same strength as a male. Because she differs from the stereotype of a weak, gossipy lady, “Portia” stands for surrender.

One of the historical revolutionary pieces that, in the end, allowed more women to participate in the arts overall and demonstrated the strength of women artists

There are also pieces of art that spark vigorous intellectual debate, the kind that might challenge social norms and alter societal behaviour.

Still, there are times when an artist just wants to connect with someone who has similar experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

The truth is that art is a way of life rather than just a technique. A passion, art is more than just a talent. Each piece of art conveys a story; it is more than just an image.

Given how closely related art is to the human experience, it is not unexpected that we have always incorporated it into our daily lives.

This is why indigenous cultures from all over the world, both ancient and modern, have a talent for blending art and their traditional items or rituals without them realising it, which is actually one of the main reasons why art is significant. A potent form of treatment is art.

Some people claim that art is uninteresting. But the truth remains that cultural practises can be transported and integrated into other parts of the world through the medium of art without losing their unique characteristics.

There, these artistic expressions can be used to amuse, raise awareness of, and even encourage visitors to accept different cultures, regardless of how bizarre or exotic they may appear.

In a very globalised world, this is extremely crucial.

Fighting racism, intolerance of other cultures, and other types of unjust societal segregation has been a major contribution made by art.

The expectation is that nations will become more tolerant and accommodating of those who cross their boundaries as immigration becomes a global trend.

Learn more: Why NFT artworks are gaining so much momentum in the art world?