Art is anything that’s creative, passionate and personal. It is an expression of our thoughts, emotions and desires; a medium through which we share how we experience the world. For many, it is an extension of their personality. Painting has existed since the dawn of time. For prehistoric civilizations cave paintings were a way of leaving behind a relic of their reality. But, they were not the only discourses they used. Stories, dance forms, pottery & other art forms became mediums through which they creatively expressed themselves and sustained their culture – to be passed onto future generations. This was, of course, way before the printing press was invented. This is why forms of art are not just mere expressions or decorative objects but also carriers of cultures across generations. The Arts reflect the unique meaning, value, and character of a community.
Given the versatile nature of art, it is difficult to define it in terms of specific forms such as painting or dance. Art knows no boundaries. So, the best analysis of it is by looking at the intent, content & context of art—the work’s essence, meaning, and the artist’s intent.
Art is a symbolic representation of ideas and thoughts. It has the power to move us. Can everything be considered art – including billboards? Seth Godin differentiates between art and marketing by emphasising, “Art is about intent and communication, not substances.” An artist is someone who uses insight and creativity to challenge the status quo which is why “Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer. That’s why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artist, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam.” The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.
Art crosses boundaries and seeing things in different ways, it can be a vehicle for public discussion, understanding social issues, and building social connections. Through participation and political action, citizens can shape their community to better reflect their values. For instance, artist Abdalla Al Omari, a Syrian Artist depicted World Leaders as refugees to represent his experience of displacement and show how the position of power affect people’s lives.
Whatever form of art we see, its main characteristic is that it is pleasing to the senses. It expresses the feelings and emotions of the artist and it can be interpreted in different ways by different people. Any type of art, essentially tells a story. It has a tendency to deeply move our soul and most masterpieces that we see in museums are a silent testimony to that. Cultural hubs like Pearey Lal Bhawan are inclusive spaces which provide space to artists across visual, auditory & performance arts to showcase their form of art. This is the kind of diversity that’s needed in the art space.