3 degrees of art

What is art? Put simply, anything that entertains the cognitive thought process, or entertains some degree of emotional experience associated with the message perceived from the art product.

That makes art very broad—performing arts, both audio and visual, still visual arts and culinary arts to give you an example. There are three degrees in presenting art:

  1. Seeing, recognising, capturing and presenting
  2. Enhancing the ordinary to produce the extra-ordinary
  3. Self creation

With the notion of what art is, it is easier to see good art from ordinary art in the sense of its’ impact. How deep does it entertain our cognitive thought processes, how powerful is the impact on our sensors and emotions!

We tend to be affected most by something different, unique and rare! You have probably heard it said, “the first time is the best time”, or “the first time creates the most lasting impressions”. In my experience a sequel seldom has the impact of the original performance, particularly regarding movies! It is not the art that has changed, but the “WOW factor”.

Wow-factor is a three-fold expression incorporating two fronts—the real and the implied. With visual images:

  1. The expression or mood portrayed within an image (implied)
  2. The emotional impact you feel when you look at the image
  3. The cognitive intrigue that holds your attention

There are two ways to generate Wow-factor…Read more here.

Because art is so broad and artist’s so diversified, they often stick to their small areas of art with only the core philosophy of art in common with each other. A painter is as different from an actor as a chemist is from an engineer! However both the painter and the actor are considered as artists, just as the chemist and the engineer can be seen as scientists!
A photographer and a painter have more in common than any of these others mentioned here. They are both in the business of producing still pictures. The painter uses paints and brushes, their observation or imagination and skill of the hands to create their art. The photographer uses technology, their observation and now with digital technology also their imagination and skill in command of such new electronic tools of technology. The end result is something different that others have not done or mastered. But are they both art? We never doubt the painting as art, whether because of the unusual observation, the art in the rendering, or the artists own creativity of picture elements and composition, but to be sure whether it is art and not just a visual document, simply apply the three degrees of art as above! You will find photographic art and painted, or drawn art have so much in common in this digital technological age!
Read the sister article here: Photography—that’s not real art!

Researched and written by Gavin Lardner CC BY 2012

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