From the earliest time of our ancestors to the current day, art serves as the most important cornerstone of human civilization. People from everywhere, living all around the world, are producing art in one way or the other. The purpose of creating art is varying. Some artists aim at creating something that is different than the existing Nature, some put forward a lasting record of our existence, while the modest one uses art to express their emotions and to feel in the best possible way so that an average human being can relate to it.
Art has been used for a very long time to elevate, avert or pleasure the people who are involved in artistry. Artists need to understand that they have to follow the dinner pail or end up dead next to an empty one. But one thing everyone should admit about the great artists is that many times, they produce artistry work that is profoundly beautiful and profound at the same time. The radiant intelligence, the astonishing imagery, the entrancing music, and the touching dialogs of Shakespeare’s plays are fantastic when one considers the distracted, putrid, philistines who sited their Elizabethan bums on the seats. This introduces us to the world of art, and artists.
There have been many great artists who have created art not only for the sake of art but to fulfill the physiological and psychological needs of human survival. Art has always been there to entertain. There is no purpose of any artistry if it cannot relate to human emotions like gossipy inquisitiveness, horror, sympathy, etc. Entertainment is a perfect expression of art, but it is imperative to mention that entertainment is not a sufficient expression for the real experience of art. Art is much more than that. It contains in itself a universe of its own.
Dr. Johnson said that “Art is the power of doing things not taught by Nature.” Let us delve deep into this statement. We are all human beings, and we are hungry in one way or the other. The hunger can be physical, physiological, or psychological and needs to be satiated for successful survival. There are three fundamental pangs of hunger for humans: for the sake of survival, for the sake of pleasure, and for the sake of positive acknowledgments. The fourth type of hunger is an important one. The fourth type of hunger is address by “Art.” Let’s see what this fourth type of hunger is. Since we all are human (organism), we are always engaged in making sense of the happenings around the world and about our fellow human beings. This type of hunger is so intense that some people spend their lives satiating it. Perhaps, some people do get to fulfill their cravings at the last moments of their lives when our bodies reclaim us.
Art is not merely a drawing on a piece of paper or canvas. Instead, it is a vast universe that is multi-dimensional. Sitting in your bedroom and thinking about how one can décor it is an art. Coming up with new ideas and composing them into music is an art. Creating dramas in your mind and producing them in the form of novels is an art. Making an amalgamation of different colors through painting is an art. Conveying your feeling by portraying an abstract image on canvas is an art. Art is life. Art is a very close part of everyone’s life. Waking up to appreciate the rising of the sun and waiting to see the dawn is an art. Enjoying the beauty of nature in verbal, musical, and textual forms is an art. The central dilemma today is that we have been unable to see that art is present all around in our everyday lives. To be very precise, Art is a doorway that opens up an individual to the global – that expands the minds from local to global.
Art and culture form an integral part of our daily norms, but there are very few people who realize the actual influence of art. Art is one of the perfect ways to come up with the solutions we face almost every day because one of the most significant ways in which one can inspire others as well as oneself is Art. If one wants to move forward in today’s modern era, creativity is the only way to go. Creativity has the power to surpass even the latest technology because it can convey meaning in the best possible ways. Coming up with new solutions through creativity is also an art in itself. Many problems can be dealt with grandly if handled artistically.
Art has that magical power of taking one back into history and then fast-forwarding everything to the future. The journey of past, present, and future can be summed up in what we call Art. Through art, it has been made possible to touch the deep souls of human beings and infuse in them your ideas and creativity. Be it a song, a novel, a play, a poem, or a temporal experiment; one can get his soul touched by it. One is then transported into another world that is deeply engraved in our physical existence. It awakens the type of feeling in us which is always there but never got a chance to show its presence. The experience of transportation is what the primary magic of art is. One of the most significant responsibilities of the artists is not only to help out people to understand their minds but also to activate the element of emotionalism and intelligence as well. Artists are the beings that serve as contribute to the culture. The art produced by an artist is a reflection of his life, and through his experiences, he takes the viewer to another world. An artist is thus both, producer and consumer, of the art since his creation is a reflection of his own life. Artists, therefore, are central and imperative figures in the process of production and consumption.
Before moving further into the magic possessed by Art, let’s first delve down into the history and evolution of art and the reason why people thought about it. Art extends and expands the visual knowledge commonly shared by everyone. Most probably, the oldest purpose of art was to convey religious rituals. Art has served religion for so many years. Art was and is still used to commemorate any historical event. For some, art was merely the creation of beauty that is pleasing to the eyes. Art may have also been used to convey intense emotion since it has an excellent power of capturing color, lighting, etc. according to the moods. Hence, art and history can greatly influence the way one sees the world. It can alter your perspectives about several aspects of life from light to intense. Through art, people have become self-expressive. Such people are encouraged and appreciated to create an art of their own so their inner elves can be depicted in a better way. Art has undoubtedly played a significant role in human expression. In primitive times, art was usually bound to creativity, but in the modern era, art has taken shape where it influences almost every aspect of human life.
The next discussion will focus on how art has influenced our education systems. Students’ grades were going down; teachers were getting demoralized and losing motivation until Art was made an integral part of the curricula which not only helped student clasp the learning but also to retain the knowledge in their budding minds. When art is woven together with the course curricula, students get a more productive experience of learning. Connecting the study of planets with modern dances, linking the dawn with the thin rays of sunlight, and making a link between fractions and colors is what inculcate in the students a better learning experience. Art in education does not merely mean introducing the project of arts or drawing. In fact, it means the introduction of a whole new universe in which students can get transported and get a lifetime experience. Through art, one can learn about the world and its history and how it was before, and what kind of changes it went through. The education in art helps evoke the vein of creativity in students so they can come up with better solutions and become an all-rounder in life.
Let us now discuss whether the existence of art should be for the sake of just the art or does it has a purpose or function. A very beautiful terminology used in this domain is “Aestheticism.” The word is used to emphasize those aesthetics are more important in art than social and political values like fine arts, literature, etc. Another phrase from the same family is also commonly used – “Arts for Art’s sake.” The absolute meaning of which is that art is produced to be beautiful. It should be appreciated and encouraged for its beauty instead of dragging it down to a deeper meaning. This concept became very prominent in Europe in circa 19th century and was supported by Oscar Wilde too. But later on, people started associating political and social ideologies with art as well. The personal opinion also forges towards the idea that art is not produced just for the sake of art or just for the sake of producing an art piece for the world so they can see and appreciate it. Rather, it has a very deep engraved meaning, and one can relate it to several life aspects. The better one can relate oneself to the art, the better piece of art it is. So basically, art has a profound “purpose” behind it. Artists make use of art to communicate and convey political, spiritual, psychological, or philosophical meanings. They use art to produce a sense of beauty and creation and to generate intense emotions.
Said too much about the art, let’s now see how technology has changed the composition of art over the years. In fact, technology has already become a new medium for artists to present their work. Previously, artists made use of sculptures and painted cement to produce artifacts which, due to technology, have been replaced by 3D graphics and software for producing images. Technology has even changed the way viewers look at art. It has given me a completely new experience in the art field. So not only the composition has changed, but the medium and the way the art is communicated to the viewers or audience have also changed due to technology.
Arts is considered to be an integral part of humanities subjects. Humanities subjects consist of those courses that humans can relate to very quickly. What is so humane about art that it is considered to be a part of humanities? The subjects of humanities usually comprise language, literature, culture, philosophy, etc. Art also forms a cloud above all these subjects through which one can create, explore, analyze, share and improve the vibrant expressions of human experiences. Human beings find themselves so relatable to such experiences and wish to express them through art.
Now there is another very different way of looking at art. People may ask what kind of moral values art brings. According to Tolstoy, L., 1960, p. 64, perfect artwork is the one that is imperative for all human beings and is thus morally high. The relationship between the artist and their work should be so heartfelt and genuine that people find the moral elevation angle in it. In the past, there have been a lot of artworks that were put away and were never exposed to the public; they were hidden and destroyed. There was nothing wrong with the work done but those in power had no feeling of moral values the art can produce. A picture of a nude child is not worth showing to the public according to those in power, but delving deep down into the meaning it may depict hunger or extreme poverty. So art is an excellent way of promoting moral values as well but only if someone can understand and appreciate it.
Summarizing the above discussion, the basic purpose of “true art” is that it should not be made just for the sake of increasing beauty or for the existence of enjoyment. Art should be something that serves to unite people into something we call “universal brotherhood.” A good piece of artwork pierces through the flesh and touch to taste your soul by activating intuition, creativity, as well as uncertainty to keep up the urge for a constant search for new ideas. Some people also use art to highlight immoral, art, and racial hygienic but such people lack depth in their perception of art. If an art piece emphasizes moral values, it should be considered as an excellent work of appreciation. The quality of an artwork should be judged only by the influence it casts on the people, how it is perceived by common men, how truly it relates to a common man, and how it can help make our society a better place to live.
1. Catterall, J. S & Waldorf, L. (1999). Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education: a Summary evaluation. In E. B. Fiske (Ed.), Champions of change: The impact of the Arts on Learning (pp. 47-62). Washington, D. C.: Arts Education Partnership. Retrieved Feb. 17, 2010, from http://aep-arts.org/files/publications/ChampsReport.pdf
This source was used while considering how art has changed education and why art is considered an important part of the curriculum. This source shared the results of an evaluation of the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education. The basic purpose of this study was to observe and explore the effect of art integration into other academic subjects. Ten pairs of teacher-artists were considered who worked successfully over a long period to help produce and evaluate the results. The results showed an improvement in the performance of students after the incorporation of art in academics. Art introduces the students to a whole new world where they can improve their expression skills and let free their inner self in any possible way, be it through music, drawing, stories, etc. The study conducted for very productive in this regard.
2. Gruber, D. J. (2008). Measuring student learning in art education. Art Education, Retrieved February 16, 2010, from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3- 1556447851.html
The author of this paper provides a historical overview of introducing art in academic education and also endorses an evaluation technique that shows the improvement in the assessment by incorporating art in academics. The paper shows how the students started performing marvelously well after the incorporation of art into academics. Art and culture infuse in the children a sense of creativity and originality. Students start feeling and observing nature with the eyes of art, and those eyes cannot see the beauty around them without putting on the glasses of Art. Including art in academics does not merely means the inclusion of drawing on paper. It is much more than that. All these aspects are studied and evaluated in the paper.
3. “How Are Art and Human Evolution Related?” Greg Laden’s Blog, 13 June 2011, gregladen.com/blog/2011/06/13/how-are-art-and-human-evolution/.
This source is used to highlight the relationship between art and humans. The blog mentions in detail how art has contributed to human evolution and how human beings can relate to art. Since artists portray their life experiences in their artworks, humans judge and appreciate them to the extent, that they can personally relate to the art. The extent to which the art can be related and felt by humans is a criterion of judgment about the artwork. Some features of humans that make us human are in fact those that are hungry for art and have helped in the evolution of humans as well. There are several survival instincts in humans, and among them, Art is one. The source, explains all of these concepts in a very soulful way.
4. Horan, Tiffany. “Does Art Have Moral Value, and If so, Is Such Value Relevant to Its Assessment as Art?” Academia.edu, www.academia.edu/7851880/Does_Art_Have_Moral_Value
This article was a reading material that highlighted that art is not a piece of beauty and is not produced only for the sake of art. It has a deep, profound meaning and can deliver morality as well. Art is moral and ethical. Looking down at artwork does not mean that the art lacks moral value, but the person does. Since beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, similarly, the appreciation of art cannot be expected by everyone as well. People need to put on artistic glasses to understand the hidden meanings. Art can relate to humans and thus does not exist only for the sake of existence. The true artifacts speak up for their ethical and moral values. The source was thoroughly read and understood and is included in the research essay as well.
5. Esaak, Shelley. “The 3 Most Important Functions of Art.” ThoughtCo, www.thoughtco.com/what-are-the-functions-of-art-182414.
This source highlights the fact that art is not produced for the sake of art. It argues with the concept of Aestheticism and enunciates the purposes and function of art by highlighting the personal, physical, and social functions of the art. If art is created to perform some service, it becomes physical art. If it is meant to perform some societal improvements, it becomes social art. Incorporating life experiences into the art becomes personal art. The link also enunciates the aspect of art is therapeutic. It can relate to a human in so many ways providing him with the utmost serenity and morality. This is the actual responsibility of the art is not to see it, view it, and appreciate it but to find out what kind of influence it can have on your life. Art is therapeutic for both the artists and the viewer.
6. “How Art and Culture Affect Our Life • SJS.” Social Justice Solutions, 6 July 2015, www.socialjusticesolutions.org/2015/07/08/how-art-and-culture-affects-our-life/.
This source highlights the effect of art and culture on our life. Art is not merely a decoration piece. It has a history, a past, and an evolution process. The source highlights how creativity can not only change minds but can also contribute to the grooming of society. Art can also help in improving the education system for better assessment of the students. Art and culture also introduce one to history. Just by looking at a historical painting, one feels like getting teleported to some other world. Also, better self-expression can be achieved through artwork as well. The work of an artist is the reflection of his real-life experiences and hence can improve the experiences of self-expression.
7. Eliasson, Olafur, and Olafur Eliasson GmbH. “Why Art Has the Power to Change the World.” World Economic Forum, www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/why-art-has-the-power-to-change-the-world/.
This source activates the vein of creativity in human beings and highlights how the soul can be touched and tasted through some fantastic works of art. The article highlights that it is the primary responsibility of the artists not only to know and understand the human minds but also to touch and feel their inner selves emotionally as well as physically. It introduces art as a common platform where people differing in their radical views can come forward and share a lifetime experience in memorable ways. The source is very beneficial to understanding how art supports intuition, creativity, and uncertainty with a constant urge of finding something new. The most significant problem that our people face today is a lack of understanding. We feel that we are not being heard, not being understood, not being trusted. The sources show that it is the responsibility of the artists to highlight these problems through art.