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The three words “What is art?” is a question that has puzzled and perplexed people for centuries.

There is clearly no simple or obvious answer. But I came across this video that gave me useful perspective.

Is there a difference between art and craft? - Laura Morelli

This is an important question for me as a writer. Each word has power. There is meaning associated with each word. otherwise writing is meaningless.

Meanings are essential otherwise why do we have dictionaries and thesauruses.

Most people tend to use words verbally without considering the meanings. By asking this question in this context I bring the matter to consciousness for others to consider.

During another Minimal Monday I asked What is love? That question has created all kinds of thinking, feelings, novels, movies, marriages, divorces and even wars. For many centuries some kings, queens, Caesars, emperors and pharaohs could act out their romantic urges using armies and navies.

Related to What is art? I have been to the contemporary art sections of a museum and saw items that I did not consider as art. And I have seen lots of items online called contemporary or abstract art. Others and I have said that any child could do that. So it is art or not?

I have known one professional artist. I liked the person but I would never value their work at the price tag of hundreds of dollars. Yet they were selling.

During the Olympic Games some sports are easy to measure. In a track event the issue is who crossed the finish line first, second or third. But in other events there is much subjectivity, like figure skating. Then the judges assign values based on their opinion. Even I can tell you who were the fastest runners were. But I cannot say for sure who were the best skaters. And my perceptions might not agree with the judges. This somehow indirectly relates to What is art?

Maybe art is in the eye of the beholder or in the marketplace in the eye of the buyers. Note that the paintings that are selling for the most at the auctions these days by the impressionists did not sell for much when they were painted. Netflix and You Tube have documentary biographies of those impressionist artists we call great artist today. Most of them struggled to survive because they could not sell their works. Surely for the few that became famous there were and are countless artists that did not make a living from their works. But did they make art?

Here is a video by a professional artist about the question What is art? related to kids.

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Comment by John S. Oliver on April 18, 2014 at 10:41

It is a question that has many viewpoints and has puzzled many people for a long time.

Comment by John S. Oliver on April 18, 2014 at 10:38

Here are several perspectives on What is art?

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