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Is It Even Possible to Define What Art Is, Exactly?

Jean Sibelius

"Art is the signature of civilizations."

Jean Sibelius

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Abstract Art: Many Shades And Hues
Abstract Art: Many Shades And Hues

Visually different from figurative art, abstract art came in the early 20th century and used colours, lines, forms and shapes to create unseen compositions, with little or faint relation with the o...

Abstract Art: Contradictory Beliefs

Many historians and artists throughout the century have had contradictory opinions and beliefs about abstract art.

Some people find abstract art the true original expressions, and figurative art being a mere imitation of reality. Others call it a hidden reality, where traces of figurative art are removed and ‘abstracted’ to stoke the imagination.

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso

"“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards, you can remove all traces of reality.”"

The Concept of Graffiti
The Concept of Graffiti

Graffiti, or the practice of writing, drawing, painting or doodling on walls and other surfaces is as old as man himself, with prehistoric and ancient cave paintings of hunting scenes being the fir...

Modern Graffiti
  • Contemporary graffiti dates back to 1967, arising from the Black and Latino communities in New York City, with the aerosol spray paint acting as a catalyst.
  • The artists, known as taggers, used to ‘tag’ or paint in as many locations as possible, with the intention to ‘get up’, having maximum people see the art.
  • Subway cars and trains became the next big thing to ‘tag’ with graffiti, as their mobile nature ensured that more people would see it. The giant artwork had a unique energy and aura while it moved, creating an effect that is not possible on a static wall.
NYC Graffiti Problem

In about a decade, the ‘vandalism’ of infrastructure and public property became a big problem in NYC, as it had a negative psychological effect on every citizen. The authorities put in measures to make it harder for the writers to hit their targets, but it just made the game more challenging and interesting for the artists.

Extreme steps were taken in 1984 to clear NYC of Subway car/train graffiti, and commuters had to face hardships, but the practice of street graffiti flourished in the coming decades.

Art doesn't have to be intimidating
Art doesn't have to be intimidating

Art is not only a great source of pleasure in our lives but can also further enrich and deepen our understanding of the world around us.

Developing a casual understanding of art is not that...

How to appreciate a painting through your senses

Art should appeal to you first through your senses. It should grab your eye in some way, such as its subject matter, its use of color, its realistic appearance, a visual joke, or any other factors.

Once you've gotten an overall look at the painting, ask yourself what the subject of the painting is. It might be a landscape, a person or group of people, a scene from a story, a building, an animal, etc. Some paintings will be abstract.

Focus on what a painting says to you

Look for symbols in paintings - something that means something else. Often a painting will include obvious symbols. For instance, skulls were often included in portraits of the wealthy to remind them that their wealth was worldly and ultimately meaningless.

Focus on what the work says to you, instead of trying to figure out what the artist meant.