Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

What is Art?

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 18, 2011, 4:26 PM

I am rigging my model for the second time after a failure of epic proportions.... must ...follow...the tutorial more closely D'= … and I am making bread..our new bread maker is wonderful ='D

Disclaimer!...All of what I am saying here is based on my own opinion.

Warning wall of text begins here....:iconotlplz:

I am taking a short break and there is another thing that has been on my mind for a while. As most of you are aware there is a lot of fuss over what is art and what isn't. People have been arguing over it for centuries. People saying the sublime isn't art, landscapes weren't art, comics weren't art and manga isn't art (even though manga and comics are technically the same thing)

I personally believe art is a deeply personal thing and it differs drastically from person to person. It can be a piece that evokes an introspective point of view on society, human nature, aesthetics, a statement, emotional, historical or focused on the future. I often hear people complain about those painting that involve merely throwing paint on a canvas. Usually its something like this "That rubbish takes absolutely no skill, I could go throw oil paint on an oversized canvas, then would I become a famous artist?".The fact that they threw paint on a canvas has nothing to do with showing their talent but more of a visual question of what's art and why can't this be art too? Its more of an outside the box idea on the constraints of what's considered art in society. I don't really want to go into a history lesson but if you have spare time and want to look it up then look for Modernist art.

Art takes the maturity to step back and question why? What does it make you feel? This is the basis behind art, and this brings me into my next point.

Art and DeviantArt.
Deviant art is no-doubt the biggest art community on the internet and has an array of different artists from all walks of life. This brings a wide range or art and a wide range of opinions and naturally opinions tend to clash and people tend to get angry. For example the whole 'that's porn not art because I say so' or 'that doesn't belong on this site therefore it isn't art'. De/motivation Posters are my pet peeve and I really really don't like them, they break the TOS (terms of service)(only if they use infringing material) for this site and they take little to no effort BUT I still think they are art. Why? Because they intent to convey an emotion or feeling. Whether it's motivation, humour or just aesthetics, in my eyes they have just as much right to be called art as Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Porn on the other hand, you can call it trashy, tacky, cheap whatever you want and in most cases I would agree, but I still think its art. It does evoke a feeling and even if its lust, its still a feeling that it was intended to portray but and image that merely has nudity and is clearly not intended to be overtly sexual being labelled as porn is a bit ridiculous.

Warning mature content in the linked images

For example Rapture by Algenpfleger and Janaschi
Combined both of the images have around 120 dismissed reports. Why? Because the DA staff have decided this image doesn't violate TOS or is an exception. I myself had a problem with this image a year or so ago but my opinion has changed since then. I do not think it is porn but it is definitely sexual. The image is shocking to say the least but I think that is its purpose. Its bizarre, disturbing and perhaps symbolises a distorted and sin filled world remaining after a rapture. It could also just be something that the artist duo drew for their friend out of preference but either way its an interesting image to interpret. Like I said before you need to step back and question why? What does it make you feel? If its disgust? Is that what you are meant to feel? If its curiosity, awe, confusion? Is it all intentional? That is why I really like this piece. (besides the fact it's stunningly painted) I also think there is an emphasis on the contrast between the beauty of the girls and the ugliness of the bugs.

Another example is Crisis de Identidad by Angelishi…
This image was awarded a DD and there was a lot of fuss over it. A lot of people had concerns that it broke Deviant Art TOS and that staff were playing favourites with deviations. I will admit it was teetering on the edge of what is allowed but DA clearly states in its TOS that it will grant  exceptions if there is grounds to do so. I am glad DA does this since they save them for works that convey a lot of meaning. This work for example shows the horrors, confusion and pain of gender crisis and gender identity. Its rigid visual style conveys a lot of emotional anguish and I feel it shows the horrors and pain people going through such an ordeal must feel.

TL;DR: Art is personal and what I consider art may not be what you consider art. Just appreciate the diversity and try not to fight so much ^^;

If you have any thoughts on this? feel free to share. =)

  • Reading: This journal
  • Watching: This journal
Add a Comment:
17005SKAILA Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2011  Student General Artist
i REALLY don't feel like reading that right now so Imma just say what i feel:

Art is Everything & Everything is Art

that's it
SabGDroxxx Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011
So the first thing I thought when I saw this was "What is art? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more" *trollface bobbing*

And then I read the journal. So yeah.

I personally think that art is art. As long as it means something to someone in the concept of art, then it's art. If it represents something to someone, then it's art. If the artist thinks it's art, then it's definitely art. If it represents someone's feelings, whether it be speech, such as singing, drawing, whether it be abstract or something else, or even in words, such as proses and poems, then it's art. Art cannot exactly be described for me, therefore when someone asks me what "art" is, I never answer. I just say "art is art, whatever you think art is."

Everyone will think that art is something different. I don't really know if that makes sense but yeah. That's what I think art is.
99rupees Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
total agreement.

art is so subjective..and we can't dismiss what others see as art just because it doesn't strike us as such. well said!
Xuruki Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011   Digital Artist
Art is an Lifestyle...
People think "i like art" and think everything they dislike isnt art.
they never question about it.

Even porn is art XD
Its painted on a Canvas and you can see something in it.
Even if u dont like a Picture, that doesnt mean its not art.
Art is art even if u dislike it XD
PRetty simple.
gaarasbabe2000 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Student Writer
"Art". That one small word is the cause of this whole problem. People are not trying to decribe the concept of "art", they are trying to describe the word. People view the world in terms of words. If a word cannot be described, it is not a word at all, and likewise, if something cannot be explained it simply does not exsit. This is the problem was to why people do not understand "art". People, when thinking about "art", are thinking about the term that has been smacked down inside of a dictionary, they are not thinking about the concept. "Art" has one simple concept, in my mind, and that concept is to draw two (or more) individuals together by protraying a simlar thought in a form that uses one (or more) of the five senses. There are people out there who say that they do not appreciate "art" but in truth they do, they just do not realise it as being "art" because they are thinking about the term for "art", not the concept.

I would go on, but that would be hammering the nail in a little too far, so I'll end with the statement that "art" as a word does not exsist but "art" as a concept does.
WolfChild18 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Art that I fave, means I felt an emotion with it.

Some art teachers I had hated the fact that my group of friends and I almost always drew anime. What they didn't realise is that we all enjoyed it because of the emotions it drew out of us. The majority of us did grow out of it, in a sense. We still occassionally draw in an anime style, but we've also expanded.

With me, my drawings are 'craptastic', but I can work with my hands in pottery or some form of crafting pretty well. Where I consider my jewelry making, cross stitching, and sewing art. Others would see it as just a hobby or a craft.

I guess you can say, art is defined by the artists and those that the artwork touched with emotion.
BoogermeisterNeema Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
While some are considered art to some people, it might be bizarre to others. For example, I went to MOMA and saw a pop-up tent inside a nest made of fiberglass branches and flood lights, and I didn't really get it. In another art museum, there was an artist who re-created some famous pictures with 'ghetto flair'. In that same museum, I saw a blimp-like statue made by that Japanese dude who created that 'Graduation' album for Kanye West.

I think art is like a buffet; everyone got a different taste! That's my opinion! LOL
Bitlits Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I totally agree with what you said, Moni :3

I slightly recall seeing something in the TOS about REAL LIFE Nudity not allowed to contain anything that resembles sperm or mucus (an orgasm). I didn't see anything about drawn art not being allowed to have it.

People are just afraid of nudity, or they're paranoid. Mostly it's females who think a man is trying to "expose" other women to the world (lol meanwhile, lots of women on dA draw nudity and pose nude themselves). They see a penis or vagina and they freak out and go "OH GROSS IT'S PORN!!"

So I guess that means that The Discus Thrower, The Kiss, The Thinker, The Venus de Milo, and The Statue of David should be considered porn, according to these people? Because it features nudity as a way of expressing beauty and strength and pride?

I think these people just need to grow up, mature from these little crybabies, and learn to take a closer look at art and try to discover the deeper meanings in them. Otherwise, they have no right to call themselves an artist.

Who are they to judge somebody else's work? Who are they to say what is wrong and what is right? They aren't God. And they can't make people do what they want just because they make a fuss about it. *huffs* Honestly, people these days... Art is supposed to be a feeling you express in your own way, whether it be through painting, sculpting, writing, photography, or even showing God's greatest creations to the world (not that I'm very religious, but I hear that expression a lot). It doesn't matter what it is.

These little kids are just overreacting too much.
hikarisen Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011
like Gombrich said, Art doesn't exist. :)
but i like to think, that art is what the artists do.
danis58 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011
I agree fully.

One's concept of art grows up just while you do too. I myself thought at my 13 or 14 that art consisted in an armonic creation, in technique, knowledge, tradition. But when I learnt more about it, and found other kind of art apart of the one that's shown to you since you're a kid, like Da Vinci's or Miguel Angel's, my concept changed eventually, becoming one quite similiar to yours.

I think art is what awakes something in the viewer and at least a little part of that something is what the artist thought or felt when he/she was creating it. It's something that always will have an interpretation and a meaning previously given and that you, as a viewer, modify according to your senses and opinions.
konallei Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wish i could fav this journal.
gaarasbabe2000 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Student Writer
I wish I could fave your comment about favoring this journal.
konallei Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
We need more options!!
gaarasbabe2000 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Student Writer
Yes, yes we do.
WiteHypno Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Student General Artist
I follow a couple of people on tumblr who often reblog an comment on art related posts and one of them commented against people who didn't think a piece of rusted metal against a wall with something along the lines of, "if the artist has presented the piece as art-then it's art. You don't have to like it but you can't say it isn't art".

I think that's probably a good philosophy to have about art and I think I'll try and keep that mindset - art's not about whether you like it or not- it's the reaction it sparks in you and how the piece makes you feel.
Washu-M Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011   General Artist
As I always say to people... Art depends on an infinite amount of points of view...
So just because I don't like something it does not mean it's not Art. :)
hyamei Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011
haha Rigging is a total pain in the neck for me ;-;
Vows2 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Art is a way to press self and give people an image, a poem, essay, book, or photographs. To produce something that will make people think or to let someone know something about you. and (A little off subject) I think everyones an artist from 1st graders using crayon, to doodling, sketching, crappy poems xD they are all art to me :)) and I hate people who "think" artist are people who have gone to art school or an artist is a person who had lived in old times(aka really famous artists). and thats my 10 cents about art :DD I hope someone people agree but if not everyone is different! :33 and I agree it does come from the heart and soul!
Eva02Asuka Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011
I agree to you.
But I want to add something. I think art is what people do with passion and what is art for others.
You see; it depends on what the people feel by seeing and thinking about it.
-And as you said: Art can be everything (not just words or picture -> dance, music,...) no matter who (kids or studied persons) did it.
Vows2 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I 100% agree! :333 and Im glad someone agree's with me also! *hugglez cuddlez glomplez*
Eva02Asuka Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011
I knew my addition would fit to your thoughts.
Toyona Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
i agree with um most of the things you talked about, what id like to say in short, is that art is just an inner language to express an individual's thoughts and feelings. Since people differ, their ideas differ, they could be good or bad to others...that depends on how others express and based on others reasoning... well, its just best not to ridicule others just because their ideas seem bizzare or even if its vulgar.....(unless it literally causes harm) and thats because eveybody has the right to choose and express themselves freely given that others are not harmed from them doing so...thats it ^^
Kiroro-No-Sakura Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011
i think that art is very much a way of expression. We draw (or at least i draw :P) whatever pops up into our minds. I've always been protective of my sketchbooks because i feel like when a person sees my drawings they see, basically, into my mind and my very thoughts.
it's very intrusive sometimes and very odd.
Laurir Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Art is everything. In my opinion art requires two things, conceptual thinking process and material making process. Art is anything that has been thought of and then created into a physical thing (outside the head) whether it be a painting, sculpture, literary piece, scientific experiment, cooking, movie etc.
I think the reason there is so much conflict over this is because the conceptual side always clashes with the material side.
Concept - Art is only what the mind wants it to be.
Material - blank white canvas.

This would create controversy because people would say there was no psychical effort put into the making process. Others would argue it took a lot of thought process. Its the thinkers vs the do-ers.

In my honest opinion I value the material practice over the conceptual. Sure you can have an amazing concept/idea, but what is it worth if you cannot properly and clearly display that idea through art? Although on the flip side, without a concept there is no art.

No concept = no art
no art = valueless concept

Its all very twisty and turny and that's what gets artists and art critics so wound up.

Sorry for the long reply
gaarasbabe2000 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Student Writer
Your comment is my favorite so far! I totally agree with what you say! That really is why "art" is so hard to explain...also, it just gave me an idea of what "art" really is.
Laurir Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Aww I'm glad it helped (: :hug:
swagstag Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Let me make it clear now, those two images are FUCKED UP! I never normally use such language but the first one, is like some twisted hentai porn, the second one I saw something similar in Malice in Wonderland, the most fucked up animaton to ever spill onto youtube =/ well drawn, but definitely in my opinion, not desirable art but still art in a sense.
My art to me is personal and I like it, even though I do compare myself to other quite alot =/ I know the stuff I draw isn't considered art by alot of people (which is why I don't get commisions), but to me, its helps me unwind, even if it's not worth the title of "art", I like doing it (whatever it now is), and will probably continue to do so for quite some time. :heart:
Toyona Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Unwind..yeah thats the word lol and thats one of the fewest main reasons why I do art
swagstag Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yarp. I do it to chill out these days. I'm never gonna be a crazy good artist, I know that, so I chill.
Toyona Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Animatedfocks Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Student Filmographer
Art is definitely art. I had people yell at me for drawing "anime" back in High School, I defended it to no end.

Ironically, going to an art college broke me of that habit, but I'm glad I started on anime, proportions came easier. I no longer want to do the anime style, I want my own original style, I don't want to limit myself. Also, since i'm going into an art career and wanting to work as video game animators in America, concept artist, Disney, Pixar, or the like... I cannot use that style so I'm in the process of changing in order to climb the ladder to success.

I don't look down on people who draw it I LOVE when people do (because I'm a Weeaboo), but I do encourage diving into every other form of art and cartoon style, you'll not only improve but see things differently and be able to draw anything. Most importantly, I encourage realism. DO IT. I never improved so much after I took a figure drawing class (I drew naked people, I saw a penis!!).

Learn everything, never give up and keep making artwork from your heart. No matter what anybody says, they're all just self righteous idiots.
AgentTexas Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Student Digital Artist
To me as long as it has an impact, it's art. No matter what it is. It evokes my thoughts and a wide range of emotions. It can be cartoons, scenery or anything in between. "Art" is anything that impacts you in my opinion. Doesn't matter how much work the artist put into it, or if it goes by the rules of older art standards, it's STILL "art".

That's just my opinion though.
TheanimefreakNo6 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Wow I tottaly agree with you.Art is what you feel and see it's what's inside something that needs to be relised.Thats why art is amazing it helps people express them selves it does not matter what the painting,picture,skech etc is it's what's behind it the feelings and thoughts!
LiviX90 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm, interesting. In my opinion, it's not the technique that matters, nor the effort put in it, nor the theme of the picture, because art "happens" in the spectator's mind. That's why it's so hard to define what art is. It's too subjective. It can be anything.
On that note, art-related things require tolerance. It should teach us how to look at the world through different lenses... until the point when the fights about "what's appropriate and what's inappropriate in art" lose their meaning.
And actually, there's a pretty good way to separate art from porn. Because just like you said, art is meant to evoke feelings and thoughts, while porn is calling you on action. I think neither of the pictures that you've linked fall into the latter category.
Primal-Arc Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
While the 'throw some paint at a canvas' works do annoy me because it takes me such a large amount of time and effort to, say, design a monster for my book from initial concept to finalised design, I do acknowledge that it is a form of art. I think people should stop trying to define the intangible and accept that their own opinions are just that, their own. They cannot force them on other people, nor does it give them the right to decide what is and isn't art. This is why I'd rather get a job as a concept artist than be a painter and deal with the art world's bullshit - I just don't have the patience for critics and gallery owners who think that they can impose their restrictions on everyone else.
Cherishubii Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Student Digital Artist
It took me a while to figure out what the second link was O_O
brittninja Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I think art is something you put a lot of effort into. I respect it, whether it be a cartoon or a painting or a nude photo. But there are somethings that I just don't think should be allowed on deviant art... everytime I see a grainy picture of some big boobed chick smiling awkwardly into the photo like a facebook photo on the front page I die a little inside. things like that is absolutely not art.
ixBlazingPockii Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011
Art is anything that makes an impact, spiritual and physical. :)
CrimzonLogic Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Student General Artist
I just remembered a while back reading about some cultures who had no concept of art whatsoever. And these were cultures who made ceramic pots with beautiful and intricate designs on them, and carved statues as offerings for their gods. To these cultures, making things such as these is a way of life, not "art" as the industrial world sees it. Their goods serve a purpose aside from sitting pretty in a gallery for people to look at. I can't even remember what the tribes I read about were called, however...I think they were in South America, but i'm not sure.
ClefJ Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well said, well said. Ahm.. Hm. I s'pose I have something to share indeed.

Once, in a college 2-d art course, my teacher asked the class what they thought art was. My answer, which I'm still proud of (lol), caught the teacher by surprise, and they really liked it. Probably because they liked it was why I remembered what I said!

"Art is something that exists for its own sake."

Eh. Applies to so many things, but I do think it fits. ^^
bakaneko1126 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
As long as you call it art, it's art. Marcel Duchamp taught me that.
Whether you feel hatred towards a piece, or love, or anything else- it evokes your emotions and speaks to you. Art.
DarkMuse112 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Professional General Artist
At least your actually learning how to professionally design 3D models. I'm super jealous. I'm trying to teach myself on blender and it's like death.

A lot of the nudes done from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries were commissioned by men, painted by men, and were meant to be looked at by men. Yet they are still in our art history books. Look at Titian's Venus of Urbino and Manet's Luncheon on the Grass. The latter, at the time, OUTRAGED many people. But it's still in the books.

And look at artists also like Kandinsky and Malevich's Black Square and even Duchamp's Fountain and most of the artists from the Dada movement. Duchamp took a urinal and put it on it's side, wrote a fake date and signed it with a fake name and called it art. People say it isn't art and that they could do that too. The point is, they didn't.

And if you get into feminist art, (I can't remember names) but there's one artist who took pieces of chewing gum and stuck them all over her shirtless body in different patterns and took photos of it, and the triangular table with a place setting for all the female artists in history, all of the food of which is made to look like vaginas. It's art too. If it was made with an idea or purpose in mind, it's most definitely art.
DarkMuse112 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Professional General Artist
Bad grammar is bad.
PainfollowedbyHate Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
nudity is always a touchy subject between most deviants. i, for one, count it as art. it's the people who claim outrageous things like "a nude man isn't art" or "a nude woman isn't art" that bug the hell out of me.
if a penis is art, so is a vagina and that's that. sheesh.
but, it's just whatever. i think it just has to have some kind of message. the artist has to have some motivation for creating the piece, i think, is the real powerful art.
bleh, whatever, not thinking straight. Dx
FallenAngelGM Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011
I personally think you are right in everything you just said.

Art for me is something that can be visually seen, admired, heard, etc. I see a beautiful landscape and I see agricultural art, for example.

Those two examples you've displayed are a perfect example of how people can be misunderstood sometimes. For most, they reported it as porn and as such, but the thing is, the artist SPECIFICALLY put a Warning Tag on it saying, "It's sexual and might be shocking, so brace yourselves", therefore the artist applied to the rules. And honestly, I love those two pieces. I believe the world of art is often hit by shocking artists who dare to do forward with daring and powerful pictures as such.

Another thing I find ridiculous in DeviantArt is people whining about how Manga is highly popular on the website. Newsflash people: manga is drawing and drawing IS ART!! I've heard to many complaints about this, "Oh, Manga shouldn't be here, it should be moved to another site and never be returned to DA." The entire world is hit by manga, but they talk as if photography, paintings and other widely popular artistic pieces on DA had been removed in favor of manga. To those whiners: grow up, seriously. This is an art community and from my point of view, the best in the world. If you don't like the fact Manga is also a form of art, well no one is holding you back from staying.

Well, that's my point. ;)
stryller Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011   Digital Artist
I did hear this opinion about art before...and I think it is kinda suit with what you say.
The example is like this, lets say, everyone here have their opinion about some issue (such as no war, no racism and many many more).
For the normal people (I mean the people not active in art), they might just keep their opinion and thinking inside themselves. But for an artist, they will present out their opinion, thinking and message by create some work (sculpture,painting,video,music,words). And so...those work that make out, is call art, while the people that make it is call artist.
So until here, the different is how high your skill can make out that piece of art. If you able to present it out with a fabulous and professional way, then you are a better artist and your art will more acceptable by peoples. But if you lack in skill, and not able to create art that famous by people...but hey~you can't deny it is not an art, is just because is still not accept by people because my skill not there yet but my message is inside........
Well, thats what I think about art
Elizabeth-fang Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree with what you said and I still ask myself this, "Why can't people just simply understand this?" Art is what you create, to show off your emotions to express yourself, to just simply let that flow be released, and omg you better eat some of that bread you made for me D:
OrdinarySnowflake Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011   General Artist
I seriously believe that art, whatever form it's in, is a piece of a person. they put in the effort (or not XD ), and suddenly there is this piece of them out there in the world. This piece of art means that someone existed, or several people when it comes to collaborations, and it just becomes it's own entity. even if 1000 years later, people forget who made the piece or why or who AND why, the piece itself is still there perhaps in knock-offs and other new art that was inspired by it, it's still proof of your existence no matter what anyone says about it. (^.^)

I'm on a lot of coffee right now. :iconsweatdropplz:
Mardran Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011
Art is whatever you or the viewer considers art. There is nothing specified or concrete. If the artist likes it, then they consider it art. If the viewer likes it, then they consider it art. There is no definite. Art is limitless.
elixer-dream Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Do you want an actual list of literary theories or my own personal ideas
Add a Comment:

:iconmoni158: More from moni158

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
September 18, 2011


5 (who?)