On Sunday, I got interviewed by a friend’s grandson who had to do some research about artists for his boy scouts book. I was very honored that I got chosen for his project. It wasn’t too easy to answer all his questions, by the same time to make it simple, fun and understandable for his age. After the interview, I felt more understood than by an adult asking the same questions.
Not once did he ask why I paint and it didn’t feel like I had to explain. He understood. Because all kids like to paint & draw, act & dress up with costumes, sing & dance. Nobody is wondering why. And then one day, they stop, at least most of them. Now I am wondering why?! Because they are grown up?
All artists create for different reasons and many of us don’t even know why. So it is not surprising that art does not have a clear definition.
Traditional categories within the arts include literature (including poetry, drama, story, and so on), the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), the graphic arts (painting, drawing, design, and other forms expressed on flat surfaces), the plastic arts (sculpture, modeling), the decorative arts (enamelwork, furniture design, mosaic, etc.), the performing arts (theatre, dance, music), music (as composition), and architecture (often including interior design). Britannica Online
I think this definition is pretty vague and could mean anything. And what’s the difference between crafts and arts? As soon as something has a purpose does it stop being art? Let’s use this example: a handcrafted, potted plate. When you hang it on the wall is it art but when you eat your food from it does it stop being art? When someone dances is it art or is it exercise? Is photography art -but how about your family photos? Are all photographers artists? Are kids artists or do they just play? At what age do their paintings turn into art? Is art limited to age? You all know the tacky, singing fish: is that art?
And then I find another statement on Wikipedia:
Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.
I guess art is something that can’t be fully understood or defined. One thing is for sure: the world would be poor and sad without art, even though we don’t know what it is. What’s your definition?