Arlecchino Fine Arts - Italian Paintings and Sculptures

What is art?


"Art is a private affair,
the artist produces it for himself."

(Tristan Tzara - Dada Manifesto 1918)


Most definitions of art are in a similar vein. In fact determining the definition of art is as difficult and subjective as with the definition of any creative action.


Most dictionaries describe art in an aesthetic way:
"The production or expression of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance."


So what constitutes a good piece of art?
"Anything that is the product of creativity."
"A product of creativity that communicates something, causes the viewer to question, and evokes an emotional response."


Murano glass jewelry item?

All art, regardless of when it is created,
shares three common characteristics.

The first attribute of art is that it enhances the existence of the people who create it. Some of the first artistic expressions we have are primitive cave paintings. Even though these cave paintings depict images of animals moving across the open plains, the true meanings of these original drawings have been lost over time. In short, we have no way of knowing what these pieces meant to the actual artists who lived in the South of France a million or so years ago...

However, even though there are differing theories over the true meaning of these original pictures, anthropologists, archeologists, and art historians have all agreed that these pieces were created to show the connection between humans and the world around them. Whether these images were originally meant to capture the spirit of the animal, assist early humans in hunting, or appease the spirit of the surrounding beasts, we can be certain that through art, these first beings on earth were able to enhance their own lives through creative expression.

The second function of art is that it strives to express the human experience. Art is the tool with which humans are able to capture the universal mortal experience. All humans share similar experiences, emotions, and feelings, but only a few blessed individuals are able to express these important occurrences. By using physical objects, images, and drawings, humans are given an effective method of sharing their view and connection to the metaphysical world. In other words, art gives people a tangible way of expressing abstract ideas and emotions. Without art, many of us might never understand the meaning and value of life that other are able to see and feel.

The last basic characteristic of art is that it intrigues and inspires the people who view it. As humans, we are captivated by cave paintings, hieroglyphics, and frescoes. Their enduring legacy inspires us to revisit the time and culture of the past and to continue listening for the voice in our own world. More simply put, art not only educates us about our past, but also motivates us to create our future.


What is art?

art is a universal language,
art is an opportunity,
art is as old as people,
art is a way that people express themselves,
art is a way to connect imagination and materials,
art adds new dimensions to our world,
art invites us to think in new ways,
art gives hope and opens possibilities,
art can lift us above the ordinary,
art has power to open windows on the world,
art is all around us


Claes Oldenburg, 1975


Why art is so valuable?

Although assessing the value of a piece of art is a highly subjective process, the quality of the work itself sets the standard. Such factors as originality, creative vision, unity of composition, and skill are the most important criteria, but a variety of other factors are also considered when taking a measurement of worth. These include:

  • The commercial success of prior works by the same artist. High demand or short supply for an artist's work tends to raise its price.
  • A comparison to works of comparable size and medium by other artists. In contemporary art, large works, by virtue of the materials and time needed to create them, are often more highly priced than small works by the same artist.
  • Education and achievements. A resume demonstrating extensive training, awards, and museum and other public exhibitions impacts the worth of an artist's current work.

In our consumer society, it can be difficult to embrace the idea that artwork is not a product. Unlike an automobile or a pair of pants, the materials and labor used to make a piece of art rarely factor into an equation of worth. Moreover, money is almost never the primary motivating factor for serious artists. Most create their art simply because they feel compelled to do so. Considering that each single piece of art embodies the sum total of an artist's experience, education, perceptions, training, and sensibilities - the price attached to the work is almost always modest in return.





Italian Paintings and Sculptures



  Copyright 1998-2007, StudioSoft. All rights reserved.
Italian Paintings and Sculptures footer