Art is a broad spectrum of human activities involving physical creativity, visual sense, personal expression, personal beauty, visual acuity, or other creative capacities, to develop aesthetic taste, personal power, to express intellectual ability, to appreciate beauty, to reflect, to participate, or to challenge traditional norms of society. It can be visual or a combination of visual and verbal communication. It may be a creation of the human brain itself or an object made by human hands. Art is not a particular genre or even a form of artistic production but can be any creative endeavor. It can involve writing, sculpture, film, music, installation, literature or other media.
The word “arte” refers to an array of artistic practices including painting, pottery, glass blowing, weaving, architecture, and sculpture. An aesthetic is a disposition toward or recoiling from beauty or the aesthetic experience; it involves feeling aroused by beauty and a desire to relate to and manipulate its object. By contrast, the word “compose” means to produce by the use of tools.
There are three broad categories of art: visible, audible, and written work. Visible art includes portrait painting, architecture, and landscape; audible art includes music and other sound; and written art includes printmaking, architecture, and photography. The ability to appreciate beauty and to produce it by any of these three methods is called art appreciation. Aesthetic appreciation derives mainly from the senses and involves the identification and evaluation of the pleasantness of a work of art. It is an abstract or subjective quality, but it may also have some basis in the knowledge that the visual system supports the existence of natural and abstract beauty.
The key takeaways for understanding the aesthetic judgment of art include the following: Beauty has a psychological meaning different from, and independent from, the objects of beauty. Aesthetic taste is independent and particular. It is formed by an inner emotional mechanism, a predisposition to see beauty in only certain types of objects. In choosing beautiful works of art, we do not imitate anything that we find beautiful, but rather we choose a work on aesthetic grounds that are personal to us. And this leads to the next key point, which is that we do not base our choices on other people’s judgments of beauty, but rather on our own.
Beauty and mimesis are closely related. Masques are mass productions of aesthetic impressions, whereas missing are decorative imitations of things that are individually beautiful. The term “masque” derives from the French word mime, which means “little painted.” The idea behind both is to produce a beautiful work with as few seams as possible, so that the finished object appears to have been “painted” by the artist.
It would be useful to remember that the work of art “does not lie”, as the work of visual artists are continually improved. New technology always opens fresh vistas for artistic creation. However, it is still important to keep an eye on the critical aspects of aesthetic judgment – the ability to distinguish between what is beautiful and what is not, and to appreciate the work of others while critically evaluating their individual artistic creations.