Art schmart – what is the deal with it?

What is big deal about art? I mean really, come on! Someone puts paint on a canvas or hits a piece of stone with a chisel and we call it “art”. We say it means something. 

So what does it mean?


Well, it means a whole lot of things. Humans have been carving and painting since we were cave dwellers. We, as a race, have followed this need to record our lives and it always began with images, with art. It also sets us apart from other mammals. We record. We express. We share. Art is so much more than just notes from an instrument, steps in a dance or colours on canvas. It is a recording of our history. Art, in its numerous forms, is a narrative. A human narrative. This narrative is even viewed from an anthropological point. Beliefs, history, culture, ceremonies, wars, portraits, nature, and celebrations are expressed in art. Susanne K Langer describes its importance succinctly here.  Even the recent discovery of the “art find of the century” has made headlines. Discovery of over 1,400 lost or unknown works in Munich, Germany has caused excitement beyond the art world. The story of these stolen paintings from Nazi Germany is now part of our history. 

Yes, art in all its forms is important. It is not just leisure or an extravagance. Art and its history matters. Additionally, one does not need to be an artist to appreciate the arts. Who doesn’t like music (in its numerous styles) or marvel at skilled dancers. I myself, although not an artist by any means, have been moved by paintings, cried to touching music and been in awe of spectacular dance. I have also been puzzled by art (not sure I understand modern art but realize that it is about perspective) and even bored by it, yet I do understand its importance. It speaks of us.

That is what art means, at least to me.

Below are pictures of a few of my favourites. I have seen all of these except the one by Klimt.

Etombment of Atala by Girodet-Trioson
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Detail of Dying Slave (The Captive) by Michaelangelo
Photo taken by myself.




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