What is Art?
"Your art is the prettiest art of all the art," said Roy Anderson, from NBC's TV series, 'The Office'.
I've noticed an increased focus on art lately on social media, namely about what it is and what it isn't. There is a debate going on. Who is allowed to create art and who, or what, cannot?
Artists work tirelessly to create pieces that mean something to them or maybe they do it for other people. But artificial intelligence takes less than a minute to create something of similar quality and substance without a motive or focus.
So what makes art "art"? I've been to art galleries where all the paintings or drawings are of specific objects, like a sphere, a box or a household object. I've seen outdoor pieces of scenery or people. I've been to collectives where the art is almost nothing but a paint splotch or even just a few lines on a canvas.
Before we move the debate forward, there is a long unanswered question we might want to take a look at...
Can anything be art? I haven't come to a conclusion on this yet.
There are people who make it big by painting something abstract or odd. Maybe just one, single line of paint down the middle of a piece of paper. I have seen this in a gallery with the price set at over $3,000.
But, if I were to take a canvas and paint one solid line down the middle -- nothing else -- I probably wouldn't make fans or money.
Countless reputable artists have done something similar. Why can they do this and receive the "artist" designation, while others will never reach that title?
I wouldn't say there is much technical skill or prior knowledge involved in much of the art I've seen in galleries, such as that line art, or even the paint splotches.
Don't get me wrong, there is skill involved in mastering the use of a variety of art tools and mediums. But this can't be the path to creating "art" -- or at least there has to be much more to it.
I can't replicate a Frida Kahlo or Andy Warhol piece and call it original art. So, is art about originality? Is it about popularity? Or is it something else altogether?
In Season 3, Episode 16 of 'The Office' TV series, Pam presents her art at the studio where she takes art classes. She features watercolor paintings, as well as some drawings. One is a vase of flowers, another is a coffee mug, along with a few others. The focal point piece features the main location of the show, the office building where most of the characters work in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
To be honest with you, I could probably create the art she produced but I really don't think those pieces are focused on skill. The thing that made those pieces "art" are all the memories and meanings behind them, especially the one featuring the office building where Pam's co-workers worked.
This brings a better understanding of art and what it might be. Art, in many cases, has to do with feeling and a deeper meaning.
Art is anything that makes you feel something, that brings up an emotion or takes you through a thought process that moves you to another state of mind. The art can include an object, place, a person or a blob of nothing -- but whatever it is, it speaks to you in a personal way.
Creators have been through experiences that help them to arrive at the art they eventually produce. Sometimes the experiences are tragic or excruciatingly hard, but other times they are joyful and inspiring -- and with each piece they create, there are multiple levels of meaning baked into the content that can transport a viewer.
One thing I do know -- true art cannot be created by artificial intelligence alone. I believe art is based on feeling, on deep convictions, and a machine or software is simply incapable of expressing or providing these in order to build something meaningful.