Recently, while on a class trip to the Allen Priebe Gallery, a community art gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, I was exposed to the work of two local artists. The first of the two was Steve Garst, who specializes in using the technique of ink printing to create marvelously detailed pictures of natural scenery. Most people think of art as improvised and spontaneous; however, in most cases, careful psychological planning is required. For example, in the visual arts, details involving color, brightness, spacing, and symmetry are used by the artist specifically for the purpose of provoking a desired response. Like the work of Garst, popular art tends to be pleasant to the eyes, using keen detail or aesthetically pleasing designs to impress the observer and stimulate a sense of awe.
In other cases, art can be used in a more narrative fashion. Let’s take, for instance, the painting Guernica by notorious Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso. This abstract piece is a portrayal of the Nazi bombing of the city Guernica during the Spanish Civil War that includes powerful images such as a grieving mother holding her dead baby, a dismembered soldier, and a woman falling from a burning building. The power of narrative art is that it allows the viewer to adopt the emotions of both fictional and non-fictional characters regardless of any cultural or geographic ...
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...ose for creating the piece Giant Hamburger, but instead that the purpose of art itself is to inspire critical thinking.
French artist Edgar Degas once said “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” The concept of art itself exists not in the paint on the canvas, the lead on the paper, or in the carvings of a granite figure. Instead, art exists on a much more abstract level as the thoughts and emotions of the observer himself. For this reason, taking into account the varying perspectives among people, the task of defining what qualifies as art can sometimes spark controversy, which is absolutely alright. The truth of the matter is that art is not meant to be agreed upon or construed to a simple definition. Rather, art is meant to be discussed and disputed among people until the end of time, and, for that reason, art truly is in the eye of the beholder.
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