What is art?

15 June 2013

Once in a while an artist bumps on the same old question; What is art?
During the years I’ve embraced different definitions about the concept of art. Not seldom nasty ones, like; art is just decoration, art is someone else’s therapeutic crap, art is overrated moneymaking, etcetera. My opinions were a bit depending on the artist or my own mood. Probably not very different than the opinions of non-artists.
None of these definitions was lasting and I still don’t have the exact answer. But the last years -those of more nuanced thinking, hehe- the definitions that reconciled the best to me are;

  1. Art should touch your emotions.┬áTroubling or stirring is ok too, but personally I’m after the positive emotions.
  2. Art should raise questions.

Both quite oldies, so apparently I couldn’t get away from re-inventing the wheel too.

Patricia Van Lubeck, what is artToday someone asked me why I put that small gap in Populus Flucta.
I couldn’t reply directly, because I had to think about it. In fact it was a good question. The longer I thought about it, the more extensive my answer became. And that’s where this blog started.

Now I can conclude that both definitions are suitable. The intended emotion I was after is ‘the desire to walk to the peep hole’.
And the raised question is: “What is around the corner in the peep hole?

But this last question may be an emotion too: curiosity.
So maybe I can narrow my definition of art again.