The Potato Eaters

The Potato Eaters (Photo credit: Wikiped

Art and Other Works of Art

Art, at its simplest, is a form of communication.  As most forms of communication have an intent or goal directed toward another individual, this is a motivated purpose.  It is the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.   Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts or artworks, expressing the author’s imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.  In their most general form these activities include the production of works of art, the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art.

Traditionally, artwork is considered art based on its value or quality.  Making judgments of value requires a basis for criticism.  At the simplest level, a way to determine whether the impact of the object on the senses meets the criteria to be considered art is whether it is perceived to be liked or disliked by its intended audience.  The value of the work of art is determined by its capacity to transcend the limits of its chosen medium to strike some universal chord by the rarity of the skill of the artist or in its accurate reflection in what is termed the zeitgeist.

The zeitgeist is the dominant set of ideals and beliefs that motivate the actions of the members of a society in a particular period in time.  So, as an example, in the medium of surrealism, there is a dominant set of ideals and beliefs that motivate the audience of surrealists to consider whether or not the artwork is considered surrealism.