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I know many people have asked us this before but, "What do you think art is?"

Sorry for the last minute post : )
I know we were asked "what is art?" many times in this class. But after attending more lectures and seeing the shows for the class, I have developed a better understanding of what art truly is. Back in the first week, we heard in lecture that art is exclusively a human quality. For example, a dog cannot create or appreciate art. I completely agree that it takes a highly advanced brain (like a human's) to recognize something as "art." However I've seen a painting done by an real elephant using its trunk. Obviously, the elephant did not do the painting because it wanted to paint or because it had an image it wanted to paint. It did it for food because it found that if it put paint on the paper, it would get rewarded. However, as humans, we recognized the elephant's paining as art, which actually sold for over a thousand dollars.

Therefore, I feel art is any unnatural object or display of skill that evokes any sort of human emotion. A waterfall may be beautiful but it is not art because it is a product of nature. But if the waterfall was artificially altered to look differently, then it can be considered art. The elephant would never paint a picture in nature. The elephant's painting is merely a product of random movements of its trunk. But in our eyes, it is art because we humans make it art.

Art is a very broad term with many interpretations. What is yours?

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I think art is in the eye of the beholder. It is whatever provokes emotion or a reaction from the viewer. For example some people may not regard Joan Miro's paintings as visual art because they think their 7 year old daughter could do better. http://www.famousartistsgallery.com/gallery/miro-ns.html

However, with understanding of the art style and art form, people learn to appreciate art once they learn more about it. Personally I never understood the genius of Shakespeare until I studied it in high school. After analyzing and studying the play, when I watched it live in theater, I appreciated it a lot more than before.
Wow, that is a very weird haha. It puts into perspective even further how subjective art is with that elephant art. I'm not too sure if I would even consider that art, or if it is, I would place it in the same category as finger painting by a toddler. I think as humans we just appreciate it because it's really unnatural/fascinating/cool that an elephant created a picture with its trunk, but not because it's "high art." But for me, I think art has to have a purpose, it has to be created with an intent to express some type of idea or emotion...I would not consider that art but I can see why people would want to buy it because how often do you see an elephant paint?!

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