Art is a powerful medium of communication with the world at large, artists hold the power to influence the way people think and live. Art defines our consciousness; therefore, it can impart and instruct as well as entertain at the same time. -artists serve the function of being role models in society because of their far reaching influence so it is obligatory on their part that they seek to establish a correlation between a proper ethical conduct and their artistic expression
How best to define the term “art” is a subject of constant contention; many books and journal articles have been published arguing over even the basics of what we mean by the term “art”. [Artists, philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists and programmers all use the notion of art in their respective fields, and give it operational definitions that vary considerably. Furthermore, it is clear that even the basic meaning of the term “art” has changed several times over the centuries, and has continued to evolve during the 20th century as well.
Thus, the first purpose of art is to reproduce nature and life, and this applies to all works of art without exception. Their relation to the corresponding aspects and phenomena of reality is the same as the relation of an engraving to the picture from which it was copied, or the relation of a portrait to the person it represents. “Art is the reproduction of reality. ” How best to define the term “art” is a subject of constant contention; many books and journal articles have been published arguing over even the basics of what we mean by the term “art”.
Theodor Adorno claimed in 1969 “It is self-evident that nothing concerning art is self-evident. ” Artists, philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists and programmers all use the notion of art in their respective fields, and give it operational definitions that vary considerably. Furthermore, it is clear that even the basic meaning of the term “art” has changed several times over the centuries, and has continued to evolve during the 20th century as well. The main recent sense of the word “art” is roughly as an abbreviation for creative art or “fine art.
” Here we mean that skill is being used to express the artist’s creativity, or to engage the audience’s aesthetic sensibilities, or to draw the audience towards consideration of the “finer” things. Often, if the skill is being used in a functional object, people will consider it a craft instead of art, a suggestion which is highly disputed by many Contemporary Craft thinkers. Likewise, if the skill is being used in a commercial or industrial way it may be considered design instead of art, or contrariwise these may be defended as art forms, perhaps called applied art.
Some thinkers, for instance, have argued that the difference between fine art and applied art has more to do with the actual function of the object than any clear definitional difference. ] Art usually implies no function other than to convey or communicate an idea.  Even as late as 1912 it was normal in the West to assume that all art aims at beauty, and thus that anything that wasn’t trying to be beautiful couldn’t count as art.
The cubists, dadaists, Stravinsky, and many later art movements struggled against this conception that beauty was central to the definition of art, with such success that, according to Danto, “Beauty had disappeared not only from the advanced art of the 1960’s but from the advanced philosophy of art of that decade as well. ” Perhaps some notion like “expression” (in Croce’s theories) or “counter-environment” (in McLuhan’s theory) can replace the previous role of beauty.
Brian Massumi brought back “beauty” into consideration together with “expression”. Another view, as important to the philosophy of art as “beauty,” is that of the “sublime,” elaborated upon in the twentieth century by the postmodern philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard. A further approach, elaborated by Andre Malraux in works such as The Voices of Silence, is that art is fundamentally a response to a metaphysical question (‘Art’, he writes, ‘is an ‘anti-destiny’).
Malraux argues that, while art has sometimes been oriented towards beauty and the sublime (principally in post-Renaissance European art) these qualities, as the wider history of art demonstrates, are by no means essential to it. Perhaps (as in Kennick’s theory) no definition of art is possible anymore. Perhaps art should be thought of as a cluster of related concepts in a Wittgensteinian fashion (as in Weitz or Beuys).
Another approach is to say that “art” is basically a sociological category, that whatever art schools and museums and artists define as art is considered art regardless of formal definitions. This “institutional definition of art” (see also Institutional Critique) has been championed by George Dickie. Most people did not consider the depiction of a Brillo Box or a store-bought urinal to be art until Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp (respectively) placed them in the context of art (i. e. , the art gallery), which then provided the association of these objects with the associations that define art.
Proceduralists often suggest that it is the process by which a work of art is created or viewed that makes it art, not any inherent feature of an object, or how well received it is by the institutions of the art world after its introduction to society at large. If a poet writes down several lines, intending them as a poem, the very procedure by which it is written makes it a poem. Whereas if a journalist writes exactly the same set of words, intending them as shorthand notes to help him write a longer article later, these would not be a poem.
Leo Tolstoy, on the other hand, claims in his What is art? (1897) that what decides whether or not something is art is how it is experienced by its audience, not by the intention of its creator. Functionalists like Monroe Beardsley argue that whether or not a piece counts as art depends on what function it plays in a particular context; the same Greek vase may play a non-artistic function in one context (carrying wine), and an artistic function in another context (helping us to appreciate the beauty of the human figure).
‘ What should art be like? Many goals have been argued for art, and aestheticians often argue that some goal or another is superior in some way. Clement Greenberg, for instance, argued in 1960 that each artistic medium should seek that which makes it unique among the possible mediums and then purify itself of anything other than expression of its own uniqueness as a form.
The Dadaist Tristan Tzara on the other hand saw the function of art in 1918 as the destruction of a mad social order. “We must sweep and clean. Affirm the cleanliness of the individual after the state of madness, aggressive complete madness of a world abandoned to the hands of bandits. ” Formal goals, creative goals, self-expression, political goals, spiritual goals, philosophical goals, and even more perceptual or aesthetic goals have all been popular pictures of what art should be like.