What is art?

The most of my life I didn’t consider myself an artist, because I thought artists are mainly painters and sculptors. That is because of the historical progress regarding the attitude about art or more specifically what is and what is not art. The schooling system supports this kind of progression by learning about the big artists — which is perfectly alright — but what they don’t tell us is that we all are artists if we say so, because being artist is just an abstract concept which can’t be fully articulated. I’m going to try to cover the meaning of art in the widest possible range in accordance with my own personal philosophy.

Official definition

Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author’s imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.

In other words Art is something a human being creates with their imagination and technical skill with the intention to generate emotions and to be beautiful.

Is it really correct?

I feel a humongous restriction and separation from the official statement. Let’s dissect it!

“Art is a diverse range of human activities..” Is then an animal’s creation not art even if it fulfills all the other criteria like generating emotions? If so, then this monkey is creating some kind of non art even though I found it on google when I typed “art created by animals”? Isn’t it funny how something which is used 40000 times a second by people (society) and which forms itself solely from society, but its content goes against the definition and shows us an animal creating ART?! If we go even further is then something created by nature non art? If so, then why do we praise the golden rule so much when we took it over from nature and didn’t come up with it with our own imagination and technical skill?

monkey painting

“..in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts..” So if I create for example olfactory or extra corporeal thing it’s not art, because it doesn’t fit the definition? What if the thing relies on other perceptions than the named ones in the definition? Is it then predetermined to become non art even if it generates an infinite number of incredible emotions?

“..expressing the author’s imaginative or technical skill..” What about people with condition such as aphantasia? If they create something moving and beautiful is it not art? Or what about those animals I’ve shown you before, the most of the animals don’t have imagination and the “gifted” ones do posses some equal to a young human child. Or take it one step further to nature again, was the rule of thirds created with a help of imagination or technical skill?

“..intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.” What about things that were made but weren’t beautiful and didn’t generate any emotions? Some things become beautiful and cause deeper emotions after they are proclaimed as art, for example Duchamp’s Fountain or any other ready-made piece of art from dadaism. Other thing is that beauty is so subjective and unstable so it becomes completely irrelevant. Some ugly things become beautiful thanks to their ugliness and some beautiful things become ugly because of their beauty. We even perceive some things as neutral or our attitude against them changes so often that we rather call them neutral.

My definition

There is none. I don’t see things through the eyes of definitions because their nature is so restrictive and that is bad, because we want to be free. If I say that the thing I’ve created is art it becomes art. If I say that I am artist I become one. If you really want some definition then there is one:

There is no definition to chain you up, you are a free human being, be whatever you want to be and call whatever thing however you want to.