Understanding and Evaluating Art

According to dictionary.com, art is defined as skilled workmanship, execution, or agency as distinguished from nature.”(www.dictionary.com)

Thefreedictionary.com defines art as “human effort to imitate, supplement, alter or counteract the work of nature.” (www.thefreedictionary.com).

I translate this into man taking what is naturally created and either replicates, builds upon, changes in some form or completely opposes it with works of their own.

Painting http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/gogh/starry-night/gogh.starry-night.jpg

The Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh (ibiblio.org)

Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, c.1889 is a painting of a night sky filled with clouds, blazing stars and a bright crescent moon. All of the features of this painting are quite overstated, but still it is somewhat familiar to me. As you view this painting, your eyes are constantly moving about and although the sky seems to burst with activity, there is something very calming about it. Beneath the sky is a small town with a peaceful vibe about it. Maybe it’s the steeple which lies right in the center of the town or maybe it’s the lack of chaos within the town, although the sky seems to predict some sort of impending disaster.

To the left of the painting is a large omnipresent figure which allows the viewer to interpret its meaning. Is it a mountain? A bush?

This work exemplifies the word art to me because it takes nature in its purest form and exaggerates it to create intrigue. It makes the viewer look at, in wonderment, what we normally take for granted.

Sculpture http://www.lewes.net/rodin/rodin.html

The Kiss, Auguste Rodin (lews.net)

Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss is a sculpture depicting a couple embraced in a passionate kiss. The sculpture was created in 1880 by the French sculptor and was initially meant to be a piece added to the Gates of Hell, a decorative door full of statues for the future Museum of Decorative Arts by the Divine Comedy by Dante...
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