Key Terms For An Introduction to the Study of Art
Art is an expansive category of human activities involving creativity, visual sense, physical ability, aesthetic appreciation, or abstract visual ideas. It may be visual or a physical form such as painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture, or music. It involves the process of generating, expressing, and experiencing a work of art through the senses. People involved in art include art collectors, art designers, art makers, art enthusiasts, educators, and other professionals.
There are many key takeaways that you can use as you begin your journey to understand and appreciate art. First, art is about emotion. It is not simply about the beauty of a painting or a sculpture. While beauty is important, art is also about feeling, thought, and purpose. Aesthetics are very personal; they depend on the observer and the person who creates the art.
Beauty is subjective and personal to each individual. The object of beauty varies greatly depending on the audience and the intended message of the artwork. For example, a work of political symbolism would appeal to people based on their political beliefs and emotions. On the other hand, a work of fine art would appeal to everyone because of its aesthetic experience and sense of beauty.
The aesthetic experience of art is the emotional response to beauty. People respond to beauty for different reasons. Some people find beauty in nature; some people find beauty in the work of another culture, and still others find beauty within themselves, in the work of art, or in the environment. Beauty is subjective and personal, and differs for each person.
The significance of aesthetics in art cannot be undermined. Through art, we get to confront our greatest fears, and discover our most beautiful qualities. We get to put on our own faces the very things that prevent us from expressing ourselves fully and powerfully. We confront the aesthetic consequences of our behavior by visualizing what we want done, saying, and doing in a variety of contexts. The consequences of our aesthetic judgments lead to a process of self-discipline and self-awareness that gives us control over our social life, our career, and our life in general.
In essence, then, the study of art is a method for the expression of the human condition. It asks us to confront our problems and to meet them head on, to make a positive contribution to our world. It requires us to confront our inner nature and go beyond our usual responses. Art is the key to unlock the door of the human condition. That is why it should be studied and viewed as a form of social science, not merely as an aesthetic pursuit. In other words, it should not be seen merely as a form of entertainment but as a way of looking at and understanding the human condition.