Mark Rothko, an American artist who described himself as an “abstract painter”, once said about art that he was not the kind of person interested in the relationship of form, color or similars. He didn’t define himself as an abstractionist, but rather as a person interested only in expressing basic human emotions such as doom, tragedy, ecstasy and so on. This was one person’s vision of art, but what do we mean by art today? Why is defining the concept so difficult?
This article is an exploration of the meaning of art and an attempt to understand the relationship between art and artists, with some useful insights via interviews with both traditional and digital artists.
1. About Art – What Is It?
This question pops up often, and with many answers. Many argue that art cannot be defined. We could go about this in several ways. Art is often considered the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations and ways of expression, including music, literature, film, sculpture and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics. At least, that’s what Wikipedia claims.
2. The Evolution Of The Concept Of Art
While the definition of art has changed over the years, the field of art history has developed to allow us to categorize changes in art over time and to better understand how art shapes and is shaped by the creative impulses of artists.
Having a solid grasp of art history, then, is important. I spoke with Alexander Daniloff and Jonathan Ball about the concept of art through history and about whether tracing a line through traditional and contemporary art is possible.
Alexander Daniloff is a Russian artist who lives and works in Italy. His focus is painting, although he has worked in several media. Lately, he has worked on children’s illustrations. He has participated in various events and illustration competitions and has illustrated three books. He has held numerous individual and group exhibitions in Italy, Russia, Holland, Spain, Finland and the US.
Jonathan Ball is the creative behind Poked Studio, an innovative company committed to developing creative visual solutions. That’s not all: among its services, Poked Studio offers illustration; Web, graphic and blog design; 3-D rendering and visualization; motion graphics; children’s book illustration; Flash websites; and games.