What is Art?

Dear diary,

What is Art?  Who is an Artist?  How do we define Art today?

These are questions I frequently ask myself especially when I go and visit museums. Just recently during a visit to the Tate in Liverpool did this question arise again.

Andy Warhol – The Kick

Fundamentally I  think that many objects or paintings regarded as Art today would not have been perceived as such when they were first made or painted, nor was the person who made or painted them necessarily regarded as an artist.

Most of these items identified as art today were made in times and places when people had no concept of art as we understand the term today.

Salvatore Dali – Lobster Phone

I am not even sure that there is a satisfactory definition of the term ‘Art’, the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as a human creative skill or its application. It might be easier to describe it as the way something is done, the use of skill and imagination in the creation of objects or paintings that can be shared with others.

Philippe de Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from 1977-2008, states that there is “no consensus about anything today,” and many art historians agree that today “more or less anything can be designated as art.”

Trolley with Bricks – Tate Liverpool

As ‘non-artists’ I think we sometimes struggle, as we have been taught that art is important and more often than not a lot of today’s creations fail to fit what we think art should be.

At the end, ‘Art’ remains significant to human beings and the idea that now anything can be art, and no form of it is truer than any other, strikes us as unacceptable.

Tate Liverpool

What do you think?