Aesthetics and Art
Art is a broad spectrum of human activities which involve an attempt to communicate artistic appreciation, beauty, emotional strength, or other important personal values, and creative skill. People who are attracted to art often pursue a career in art or even become professional artists. Others simply enjoy the visual aspects of art and allow art to guide their own creative processes. Still others are involved in the business end of art as dealers, salespeople, or administrators of art exhibitions and art galleries.
The term “art” refers to a variety of different things. In the United States, art generally refers to contemporary art, but it can also mean fine arts, impressionism, abstract art, pop art, and so on. In England, art typically refers to art produced in England, typically in the British National Gallery. Other countries commonly refer to art produced elsewhere (such as Europe and America), but in most cases, in North America, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the term art refers to visual arts.
Art has evolved greatly through the centuries, becoming both more subjective and more objective over time. While historically, the works of art were produced by established artists as a way to support the art collector, the times have changed since the major fine art institutions began collecting and supporting the work of emerging artists. The major art institutions, such as the Louvre and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, now generally present works by both established and emerging artists, in addition to works by veterans of the fine arts.
Another major distinction between art and other types of art is the level of influence. Most visual arts are influenced by culture and other external factors. For instance, a painting done in the Middle East, such as an ancient portrait of a bride and groom, would most likely reflect the social circumstances of that era. But a painting done by a contemporary fine artist, such as Beyonce Knowles, would not. Beyonce’s work would most likely reflect her individual preferences and artistic sensibility, and she does not typically follow the rules of any particular culture or time period.
The major difference between art and other forms of expression is that it attempts to manipulate the senses in order to achieve particular effects. It can be expressed through sound, sight, touch, smell, and even thought. Art seeks to communicate ideas, experiences, and emotions in a variety of different forms. While there is considerable debate as to what some of these different forms of art are, there is agreement that there are several categories under which art falls.
One of the most popular categories of art is aesthetics, which is defined as the process of choosing beauty or the beautification of things. Aesthetic beauty is different from beauty, but those who claim that aesthetic beauty is the most important type of beauty are often also those who claim that beauty is merely a matter of opinion. The beauty that one person finds attractive may vary from another’s, and it is up to the viewer to determine what is attractive and what is not.