Art 1 – Art Appreciation – Due 5/13


Watch this award winning film short titled Art Appreciation and consider the ideas presented.

What makes something art?

What is art?

What is good art?

What makes meaning in art?

Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?

In your comments, consider  and thoughtfully discuss at least 3 of these questions.

In your sketchbook, 1 hour on a “meaningful” drawing, collage, or mixed media.


23 responses »

  1. 1) I think that the artist and the viewer both make the meaning. The artist has a meaning while they are making the artwork. They are making it for a reason which means that it mas meaning to them somehow. Artist put shapes or colors in certain places not just because they like but unconsciously it has some sorta of meaning that adds to the artwork. Artist may say I put that circle there because that is the only place where it would find but in reality they put it there because they liked it and because to them placing it there meant something. The viewer also takes there own meaning from the artist. The artist can have there own meaning but the viewers is always different. The viewer interprets things different than the artist. The best thing about art is everyone interprets a different message and everyone is affected differently.

    2) I don’t think there really is good and bad art. Its all based on someone’s opinion. Everyone likes someone different and that okay. Someone may thing that an artist is really good and someone may think that an artist is really bad. It based on what people like and how they interpret the artist. If people don’t like the message that they interpret from the artist then they don’t like them. But just because one critic doesn’t like them doesn’t mean that every critic will hate it.

    3) Art can be anything a photo, painting, collage, sculpture, really anything that someone has created and I think cares about. Art has to have meaning without a painting is just a painting. People have reasons why they create something. Something may be art to someone and not art to someone else. Again its based on opinion and everyone has a different one.

  2. 1) Meaning in art comes from the viewer. The artist starts a piece with a certain meaning in mind, but whoever looks at it has their own ideas depending on whats happening in their worlds. The piece just has to evoke a certain feeling for one person and that makes it a real piece of art. Art is meant to evoke feelings, ideas, hopes, and fears, and to create a universal connection between people.

    2) Good art depends on who’s looking at it. I believe it is a piece that evokes a feeling but can be interpreted many different ways.

    3) I think the artist can make the meaning but they can also just create an ambiance and the person can create their own meaning.

  3. What makes something art? I think that almost anything can be seen as art, as long as the artist is expressing themselves and what they believe in. Art can be made by the viewer as well if he or she observes something and sees that it conveys a deeper meaning. It doesnt matter what it is as long as it has meaning.

    What makes meaning? What makes meaning is the interpretation of the piece. Even if it is just a spill on the wall like in the video, in can be seen as something meaningful because of the ideas we associate with artwork. If we assume something intended to show expression, then meaning can be applied to it.

    Who makes meaning? I believe that a piece of art never has a specific meaning. It is in the eye of the beholder. The artist may intend to portray one message but anybody can come slong and see the piece from a different perspective and get something entirely different out of it. The only possible way for one meaning is that if an artist created a piece and didnt let anybody look at it.

  4. First of all just let me say that that film was…INCREDIBLE! The acting, the obvious chemistry between the two main characters, the fact that the film was clearly not pandering to one, very specific audience, the great and sophisticated writing, and the incredible story all combined to make this a video deserving of the award for best comedy at the five16 film festival… sorry, I just couldn’t resist. But in all seriousness, this was supposed to be a COMEDY, making fun of people who pretend to find meaning in art were there is none. I’m not sure that is the best way to kick off a blog about meaning in art, but any way here I go.

    1) Art is anything someone makes with the intention of being art. This blog comment could be art if I, the creator of this blog comment, make it with the intention of being art. However if I, the commenter, just write this comment for any other reason than to make art, than it is not art. Take that incredible video we just watched for instance. That splatter on the wall they were oohing and ahhing at was not art, it was simply a splatter on a wall that someone made by spilling something or for some other reason. However if a person were to sit down and purposefully make that splatter with the intention of it being art than it would be art. Would it be good art? No. But it would be art.\

    2) What makes good art? Well, the answer is going to sound really narcissistic and terrible, but the truth is, I do. Yes that’s right, I decide weather a peace of art is good or bad. You see, the whole point of art is to apeal to the viewer, once the artist is done creating the peace of art, it doesn’t really matter what they think of the it. All that matters is if the person looking at the peace of art likes it or finds meaning in it. All the artist can do is do there best to make a peace of art that others will like and then the rest is up to the viewer. That is the fate of the artist. So if I, the viewer like a peace of art, if I find meaning in it, if I enjoy looking at it, then it is a good peace of art. If I don’t like it, well then it is not a good peace of art. It’s as simple as that. This is why there is so much debate about different types and styles of art and whether they are good or not, or weather they are really even art. Each viewer has different tastes so each peace of art is different on the scale of good or bad to the viewer. So to some people, some peace of modern art might be great and wonderful and meaningful and one of the greatest peaces of art ever created. But to some other people it might be bad.

    4) The viewer makes the meaning in art. As we saw with the video, those two kids made up some whole complected story of what the “artist” wanted the viewer to think, about an accidental splash of something on a wall. Granted one of them was trying to elevate herself and feel like a high intellectual, and the other was just saying anything he thought would make it so his girlfriend wouldn’t break up with him, but you get the idea. The viewer can make up all sorts of different meaning in a painting weather or not the artist meant it to be there or not. If an artist had actually made that splatter they could have been thinking of exactly the same meaning as the kids thought of. Or (and I am sure that this must happen some times) they could have really just splattered away on a canvas and sold it to a museum for an exorbitant sum and then some art critics could have made up meaning about the painting. It doesn’t matter.

  5. What makes something art? What is art?
    Art can be anything you want it to be. It’s an expression of either emotion, opinion, or often times both. It’s often times something that’s been put there intentionally, meant to represent an idea. BUT, art can also be what the Viewer finds meaning in. If you see meaning in something, or if it stirs up some emotion inside of you, go ahead and call it art. There’s no real checklist to what makes something either art or not art, because not everybody might be able to extrapolate a meaning from something, yet that doessn’t necessarily mean there is no meaning.

    What is good art?
    there is no such thing as “good art” or “bad art”. You may not appreciate a certain piece because there’s nothing in it that you can relate to doesn’t mean it’s bad, because for it to be classified as art, somebody must have thought that there was some meaning behind it that makes it good art.

    What makes meaning in art?
    The viewer’s thought process, because often times the artist isn’t standing there explaining what their own thought process was while creating the painting. Meaning is created by having something in the piece to hook on to, something that catches your eye, something you can relate to, something that brings back powerful memories.

    Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    Both. It’s the artist Who creates the piece, but it’s the viewer gets a chance to interpret it. If the painter/artist doesn’t ever put anything down and call it art, no viewer would ever find meaning in it. As I mentioned before, it takes a certain portion of the piece to catch the viewers attention, in order for them to find meaning in it. The artist, of course, has his own meaning intended, but rarely will somebody have had the same experiences in life as the artist, and rarely will the viewer see the same meaning behind the artwork.

  6. 1) The incredible thing about art is, in my opinion, absolutely anything can be considered art. It all depends on the way you look at something. Anything that carries a message to the viewer is art. Anything that makes you feel something is art.

    2) I think art is considered good art if it has a meaning/sends a message to the viewer. It all depends on the viewer. There is not one definition of good art. Some piece of art may be good art to one person, but not to another. The skill of the artist may be great in one piece of art but the piece may have no meaning, and another piece may have less technical skill but a great meaning.

    3) What makes meaning in art is the idea in the mind of the artist when it was created and the viewer’s interpretation of this idea. The viewer’s interpretation may be completely different from what the artist originally intended, but the art still has a meaning.

    4) I think both the viewer and the artist create the meaning in art. The artist takes their meaning and turns it into a piece of art. The artist expresses their feelings and emotions through their art. On the other hand, the viewer sees their own feelings and emotions through the artist’s art. That’s why one piece of art may be interpreted differently by hundreds of people. Each viewer looks at a piece of art with different eyes, and takes a different meaning from it.

  7. I find that in many artistic communities, the definition of art is blurred to make the simplest actions of people seem like art. In some sense, they are correct. Any work done with the intention of pleasing somebody can be considered art, be it a painting, sculpture, writing, music, poetry, or drawing. It doesn’t matter the medium, just that someone intended it to be done to please someone.

    What I don’t agree with is the over-glorification of things that don’t show a huge amount of talent. Good art is, by definition, done by someone that knows what they’re doing and places both the extent of their talent and emotions into it. It does not nessicarily have to be beautiful. Many pieces of art show talent and emotion without a beautiful landscape or conventionally gorgeous things. For example, if an artist wants to paint a tsunami washing away possessions, and does it with skill and emotion that pulls the viewer into that world, that should be considered art. If there is a painting of a cottage that is beautiful, but it is clear that they plagiarized the style from other artists and it is hollow, it isn’t art. However, art is subjective. Many can find themselves finding meaning and skill in paintings that others don’t. There is no general consensus on the definition of art, and there doesn’t have to be.

    People may discover things in paintings that you won’t notice and never will notice. Does that mean that the art is less meaningful to the viewer? I believe both create the meaning. Neither of them has a correct interpretation. If someone doesn’t originally see symbolic value in their work and someone else does, that doesn’t make the symbolic value less valid. There is no such thing as “defined” symbolism, the black and white view that we are forced to take. Art is not like math. It doesn’t have a specific answer that will explain every convoluted thing in it.

    I’ll give you an example. The summer before 7th grade, I attended writing camp. During this stay, I wrote a fictionalized short story representing Pompeii. In it, my main character was struggling in a ash clouded world, unable to escape. In the end, a girl reached out her hand to the said character and told her she wasn’t going to die yet.

    I saw this in the most literal way possible, but when my writing teacher saw it, she said it was a brilliant interpretation of heaven and hell. I was shocked. Not only had I written a piece that I considered well written, I had unintentionally included symbolism. I smiled and nodded and said that it hadn’t been intended. Looking back on it, my inspiration was clear.

  8. 1. I’d say, generally speaking, art is form without function. A chair is not art, but if it’s highly decorated, the decorations are. A painting is just that, a painting. You’re not supposed to sit on it, or use it. It’s just there. A painting. Art. Art is creative, not mechanical.

    2. Good art is hard to define, but it ought to exhibit creativity, prowess of the artist using the medium, and it should be an expression or depiction of something. Or both.

    3. I think both the artist and the view can create meaning in a work of art. The artist’s meaning could be completely different from the viewer’s meaning, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s all up for interpretation.

  9. 1) According to the girl in the movie, art is symbolic expression of the artists thoughts, life manifested an ones experimental interpretation of reality. Art is pure feeling and emotion. Art can be anything if the artist chooses it to be. Even a blank canvas can be a pice of art, sometimes more powerful than something drawn. At is a way to convey emotion, almost like a language.

    2) Every pice of art is ‘good art’ to someone, just like the saying ‘one mans trash is another mans treasure’. In my opinion, art and viewing art is a very individual experience because it is interpreted and experienced differently by each person who sees it. Good art makes people creates strong reactions, and makes people wonder about themselves and the world at large. When people view ‘good art’ or art that means something to them. they always learn about themselves.

    3) Most of the time I think it is the viewer that makes the meaning of the artwork. The artist probably just throws different colors in different shapes they think will look nice on a canvas and it is up to the viewer to make up some sort of meaning that the artist didn’t intende at all. This isn’t always the case because sometimes the artist will be trying to express a certain feeling and it works.

  10. Art is creation. Generating ideas–not always intellectual, often visual or auditory. The creation may have intended meaning or significance or it may not.

    In my opinion, good art is debatable, lending itself to multiple interpretations. The artist’s intentions might not always be clear, and this lets each viewer determine meaning for themselves.

    Both the artist and the viewer make meaning. The artist might’ve intended a certain message, but whatever the viewer sees is determined by their preconceptions. The cool thing is that everyone had different preconceptions, and hence different ways of looking at things.

  11. What is art?
    Art is a way of conversation, it’s some messages come from artists, and received by audience. Art can be presented in varies of ways. In my opinion, a medium in either visual or auditory.

    What is good art?
    Good art is ought to be speculating, or a beauty. Good art can make people feel comfortable by just looking at it; good art makes people think from its abstract relation with the real world; good art stimulate people’s creativity.

    Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    The viewer makes the meaning of art. The artist create the art work. However, when the work is done, it is not the artist’s own creation. It is viewed with thousands of opinions from others.

  12. Art is something that has an artist whether it be me, or you, or mother nature. Artists create artwork in one of its many forms using their own style and technique. From this, abstract work or detailed realistic artwork is created that can represent many things. It can be an image of something real or just a splatter that has symbolism.

    In my opinion, good artwork is something has a high level of precision and detail that is used to create something unique which has a lot of meaning. Even simple artwork with few brushstrokes must require some level of thought process and planning.

    I think the meaning of artwork is created by both the artist and the viewer. The artist may have something in mind when they create a piece, but every may have a different interpretation that is equally valid. In the case of the wall splatter, the meaning was created by the viewer. Also, the artist may be more of the creator of the artwork who provides a medium for which meaning is conveyed. It’s mostly up to the viewer to understand it.

  13. What is art? Well, really everything is a certain art. Art can be many things: an expression of emotion, a reflection on life, nature itself, etc. So when one gets right down to it anything can be art if you look at it in a certain way. Whether its a polished drawing or just the arrangement of things on ones desk, it is a certain art. A way of supplementing visual, textural or aural context? It’s hard to pin down one definition seeing how wide ranged art can be, but one thing is certain: that no matter what it is we look at, at least one person sees art, inspiration, beauty.

    What makes good art? Again, this is mostly speculation. Given that there is technically an infinite set of possible criteria to judge art by, no one person can really say what makes art good. Some would say that it’s aesthetically pleasing, others might say that it displays mastery, and still others might say that they can relate to the subject matter. And even more criteria is possible. The viewer is the decider of a piece of art’s value, and as such they are allowed to decide why for themselves.

    Who makes the meaning? Everyone does! That’s one of the beautiful things about art! There are an infinite number of interpretations of any piece. The artist has their own personal meaning for the piece which inspires both the work and some of the possible interpretations of the piece. However, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and so many people formulate their own thoughts on the piece deviant, or even contradictory to that of the author.

  14. 1.What makes something art? I think art can be any number of things. This is going to sound really cliche but, everything has the potential to be art. Everyone views things differently, and so different people can find beauty and expression in different things. Some people find going out into nature, and viewing the landscape as a piece of art. Others like photography, paintings, music, body modification, etc. It’s all up to how you view things.

    2.What makes meaning in art? Intention. Whether it’s the person observing the artwork, or the artist themselves, you can create meaning with intention. If you choose to analyze a painting in a way that the artist didn’t intend, you’re appreciating the art with the intention of creating a connection to it. Likewise, the artist may create it with a specific meaning in mind, and others may recognize this, or they may not. Either way, you have to have the intention of finding meaning.

    3.Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer? This kind of touches on what I just said, but both parties have the opportunity to make the artwork meaningful. In the video, they found meaning in the paint splatter on the wall. Even thought whoever accidentally spilled it obviously didn’t do so with the intention of it having meaning. At the same time, the artists of the other works in the gallery most likely felt that their pieces had meaning, and yet Jake didn’t find any in them himself.

  15. Art is something that has an artist whether it be me, or you, or mother nature. Everyone views things differently, and so different people can find beauty and expression in different things. Even a blank canvas can be a pice of art, sometimes more powerful than something drawn. At is a way to convey emotion, almost like a language.

    Intention. Whether it’s the person observing the artwork, or the artist themselves, you can create meaning with intention. There is not one definition of good art. Some piece of art may be good art to one person, but not to another. The skill of the artist may be great in one piece of art but the piece may have no meaning, and another piece may have less technical skill but a great meaning.

    In the video, they found meaning in the paint splatter on the wall. Even thought whoever accidentally spilled it obviously didn’t do so with the intention of it having meaning. At the same time, the artists of the other works in the gallery most likely felt that their pieces had meaning, and yet Jake didn’t find any in them himself.This isn’t always the case because sometimes the artist will be trying to express a certain feeling and it works.The only possible way for one meaning is that if an artist created a piece and didnt let anybody look at it.

  16. I realize that I’m not answering each question directly, but this is something I actually have a lot of thoughts surrounding so I think it would make more sense if I used a different format to answer the following:
    What makes something art?
    Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    What is good art?

    You’ll find the answers saturated throughout, not answered linearly.

    Art is whatever we may want it to be. It is a form of matter, existing in a way that a human manipulated (or even did nothing to) that may put it in a certain form. It’s simple existence, that we and our symbolically thinking minds pull meaning out of, whether this is the artist or the viewer or the bird that comes down and scrutinizes it for a moment it before thinking “not food”.

    With this in mind, I don’t believe there is such thing as “good art”. I think the beauty of existence or at least having the capacity to interpret, define, and experience anything is that we as those who experience something, whether it is life or a piece of art or a delicious piece of chocolate cake is we can take our experience with it, and then apply our interpretation, or how it made us feel or think or what it ends up representing or bringing to us, and if we choose, categorize it as good or bad or salty or sweet or any other adjective that fits it in our experience.

    This isn’t to say that it has no meaning, it is to say that it could have every meaning or no meaning at all, as the object itself simply exists and any amount of meaning is limited to the emotions, creativity, and preferences of the interpreter.

    Though there is such thing as well-liked art, well-known art, or simply art, there is no definite category for which to put them, as categories are a human invention for making sense of the world around us, and just like moral values or a way of thinking, the category and personal characterization is not (and in my opinion shouldn’t be) treated as something that should be universal, or that needs a universal answer.

  17. Question: Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    Well, I find this a difficult question yet I chose it because of that. It is fun to think about. I really liked how in the movie, the girl is finding a whole meaning of the “art” which appears to just be something spilled there on accident. So in that case, defiantly the viewer, sense it is quite unlikely that someone spent time thinking of how to spill their drink and what color drink to buy for it and what not. That would not happen of course. But actually when i think about it, it doesn’t make sense really to ask a question so, because if only the artist makes the meaning, then what has the viewer to enjoy? It is either both of them, or in some few cases, only the viewer.

    Question: What is art?
    Art is everything. In tho video I would say that art for the guy is music. All art does not have to be on a painting or in a museum or what not. Art can be anything if you just look. I think that art too is a extremely gigantic word, so this question might not have been the best to choose. Art is so much, is the thing. The girl in the movie mentioned; “It’s art. It’s feeling. It’s emotion..”. That’s art too. Like i said, art is so much it is hard to simply answer in a blog comment.

    Question: What is good art?
    This is a stupid question. Nothing is really “good art” or “bad art”. I mean, i guess you could say that art with a meaning is “good art” but then again, everything can have a meaning if you just think right. The girl in this movie found a meaning in some spilled drink or something, so is that “good art”? That is why i find this question quite stupid, is because it is such a simple and bad question, and it is quite irrelevant. I actually find the example of the girl finding a whole story behind some spilled smush good in this situation.

  18. Everyone defines art differently. Somebody might think a sculpture made out of scrap mettle is just a pile of junk while thinking that art is paintings and drawings and vice verse. It’s very subjective. Whether or not something is art depends on who is looking at it. It is totally up to the viewer. However, that is only if the viewer has not been told whether or not it is art. If they’re told one way or the other then they know if it is or isn’t and their opinion will be biased. If the observer happens upon the work accidentally, then their interpretation is valid.

    I want to say the artist makes the meaning because it came from their head originally but that contradicts my earlier statement. If the viewer has not been told the original meaning and they make up their own, then that’s what it means to them. The meaning would obviously be different for every person. Also, meaning can be added if there are memories attached to the work. If there was a painting hanging in a grandmothers house, then it would have a different, but valid, meaning for her family than it originally had for the artist.

    The same goes for ‘good’ art. there is no good art and no bad art. There is only art. Whether people like it or not is a personal opinion and does not change the quality of the work. The work it’s self has no constant value. It’s value is determined individually by the viewers and has no effect on it. A child’s finger painting could be priceless to the mother and worthless to a stranger. That does not make it good or bad.

  19. Art, in the most general explanation, is self expression. All art, in one way or another, is a message from the artist to the viewer. Often the message is vague and interpreted in many ways, but sometimes it is concrete and obvious. Even the most minimal of artists (such as Mondrian or Duchamp) are trying to convey something with their art. Because art can be so vague and still be considered art (remember, Duchamp wrote “R. Mutt” on a urinal and it’s one of the signature pieces of the 20th century), it is pretty much impossible to say what is and isn’t art. If I gave you a binder filled with scattered papers, you would think its junk. But if I told you that the binder was a message for stress and the lack of organization many students feel, you’d have no choice but to accept it as art (and hopefully hand me a lot of money). The hardest thing about art is how you evaluate it. I’m of the opinion that art, no matter how subjective it is deciding what constitutes it, is not completely subjective in how “good” or “bad” something is. If you take the urinal mentioned above and compare it to Courbet’s The Stone Breakers, I’d say 99% of all people would say Courbet’s piece is “better”. Is it still totally subjective, or has a general consensus been made? I’d like to believe that all art is equal, but it isn’t. Some art is made to shock, others to accurately depict a moment, and some art transcends image altogether. It’s up to you to decide how to rank them.

  20. The idea of what art is comes from the person viewing the art. Some people see art differently and enjoy different things. So art is anything from nature to what an artist can create as long as someone finds it beautiful or inspiring. Art can also be used to convey emotion very affectingly there is the famous saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” and this is why art can be anything that tells a story.

    Art can have meaning when it tells a story. Meaningful art is determined by who is viewing it, some people find an artist meaningful and another person might not its all based on perception. From photography to sketch artists anything can tell a story and the better the story the more meaningful the art is.

    I think that the viewer makes the meaning because the artist can create what the see in their mind and try to point the viewer in the direction they want them to go but ultimately its all on the viewer. The viewer can decide if they want to take the artwork in any number of ways and most of these decisions aren’t conscious decisions they are made subconsciousness based on life experiences.

  21. 1). What is art?
    I think art depends on individual’s point of view. Like what the video represents, you can think the accident red spark as an art. For me, i think color itself is already an art to me. So the combine of colors will create a different view and feeling to me.

    2). What makes something art?
    I think art can be everything. However, a good art is something you can receive the message from the artist. Or a good art can make you come up with your own thinking and feeling.

    3). Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?
    I think both makes the meaning. Sometimes, although the artist wants to represent a certain feeling, some viewers can find out a different layer. But all the thoughts makes the art more colorful and more inspiring.

  22. Art is anything the viewer finds meaning in. This means that something can be art or not depending on the viewer and the context in which it’s presented. Good art is subjective, but if a consensus of people all really like one piece and not another, can the first be considered “better.” It’s hard to compare something so subjective, but I think it’s human nature to compare and those judgements are valid within certain limits. The meaning comes from the viewer. The artist might have a specific meaning in mind or none at all, but each viewer will have his/her own individual interpretation is just as valid as everybody else’s. Of course a more informed viewer’s interpretation might be closer to the artist’s intent, or at least more interesting.

  23. Art is something that was created. It’s made when humans take something that was already there, and make something new out of it. The fact that something else was made from the original thing is what makes art. It takes imagination and creativity and innovation, and it makes something mundane into something amazing.
    Art can have meaning or art can be solely for the purpose of creating something new. I think that art doesn’t have to be visual or literary. It can be a scientific invention–it just has to be something new that you created.
    You know that art has meaning when someone put something distinctly about them into it. When it resonates with some greater emotion or feeling within them. For some reason, the more personal it is, the more widely people will find it beautiful. It’s sympathetic and people see it and identify with it, because all emotions are human and all humans feel emotion.

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