What Defines Art?

by Santiago Bustos, Colombia

In every particular time in history, the concept of art has changed as a result of the human conception, it goes beyond our need of communicating and reach the void between our need to feel comprehend. Beginning with the first art expressions appeared in the paleolithic, the art evolve through the different civilizations, bond to our perspective of the world; reaching in modernity the concept that everything could be art. Therefore, if everything can be art nowadays, what defines art?Image result for the campbell soup andy warhol

We used to think that art could be everything that shows our reality or at least the way we see it, showing in periods as the renaissance, almost identical paintings of a determine subject, such as bodies or nature. But in the other hand, with the creation of the camera, we lost the value of that art, because we could be able to capture the real life without any chance of making a mistake, so it was likely to think that art would cease to exist because it wasn’t useful anymore, even thought, it didn’t. Instead, art evolve to a new concept in modernity, redefined as every way of expression needed in the human behavior.

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However, with the rebirth of art, our artistic creation went through its second crisis; art began to rebel against itself by manipulating our conception of beauty. Expression represent us, even the things we couldn’t express about ourselves (such as the abstract art) and show that our expressions are almost everything we want them to be, going from pictures of an urinal to a soup can. But, if the same soup we buy at a supermarket was the soup we pay for seeing in a museum, it seems illogical to keep appreciating art, because, in some way, everything could turn into art and also the world itself is already a piece of art.

On the other hand, even if art could be everything, it doesn’t mean that art loses meaning or importance; art could still be whatever we want it to be and still be precious, because it continues to have a technique and a process that keeps reflecting our nature, and trying to define it is as difficult as defining our nature.