The Definition of Art

Twin TowersWhere to even start with this iconic image? Some may not consider it “art,” but I think that any image that can capture this much tragedy with one snapshot, is the coolest form of art.

THis may be considered art to some due to its ability to capture so many different emotions in a standing image.  Going with the article, it fits into the contemporary definitions as “art has important historically contingent cultural features, and it also, arguably, has trans-historical, trans-cultural characteristics that point in the direction of a relatively stable aesthetic core.”

We have all seen this image many times whether we come from the United States or not.  That is my favorite part about art: it has no geographical borders.  It connects the world without saying a word whether it is through tragedy, sorrow, elation, hatred, or love.

This image may mean so many different things to different viewers, which is another cool aspect of art.  Any one image can be analyzed in so many different ways.  The article mentions some constraints on the definition of art.  I do not think art should have any constraints.  If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, why can’t art be the same way?

Why limit art when it could be a source of communication for different cultures.  As Oscar Wilde puts it, “Art is the most intense mode of individualism the world has ever known.”  I personally do not think this individualism should be squelched by measly constraints.

For the most part, I agree with the definitions of the word from the article; however, I think the true definition of art is based on who is viewing the piece, where they are viewing it, and what they see in it.


One comment

  1. elfinsbl21 · January 25, 2015

    What an amazing image to start to unpack! Is it journalism or art? Can it be both? Check out James Nachtwey’s photography if you are interested in learning more about journalism versus art. There is a great documentary about him called War Photographer, well worth watching. Great job.


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