Art Definition. What is art? New Essay by Isabel del Rio: ‘The Shadow of the Art’
Difficult definition. Every time, every artist, every person has had a different idea about what art means. Not very surprising because, in the end, we are in the land of freedom, of dreams, of emotions… Of a subjective reality of our mankind, impossible to rob us by any evil external force.
Next week, I’m going to publish my essay “The Shadow of Art”. I try to explain what art to me is and what art has been through history and among artists.
40,000 years ago, our specie, the Homo Sapiens Sapiens, was born and from the very beginning, people started to paint on the walls of the caves and to sculpt little figures in stone. What did it happen before? Speaking about art: nothing.
Previously, other homos had made stone tools, huts, and even leather clothes… Practical things, but they had never employed their abilities and time to look for beauty or abstract relations. In fact, the first artistic manifestations had a magical meaning: paint a bison and afterwards, you will be part of its soul.
Then, the search for the intangible is a first characteristic of the art. If we speak about purely useful works, we are not speaking about art.
During the Ancient History (Greek and Roman civilizations), the search for beauty was constant: ‘Art for Art’s Sake’. Well, and for the glory of an artist and of some occasional emperor. Anyway ‘glory’ is an abstract concept. And in the Middle Ages, the cathedral builders wanted to touch the sky in a brotherhood that united entire towns in a unique emotion, which was a metaphor of their future communion with God. This mysticism was lost in the Renaissance… or maybe not, because during the 15th and 16th centuries, Italy lived the less practical period we can imagine. ‘Golden Ratio’ meant to look for the basic rules of the Universe, to try to see the face of the Great Creator.
Baroque didn’t look for beauty but for impressing or shocking viewers and Neoclassicism wanted a perfect technique which was broken by Impressionists and their love of light and new colors. From then, all of the avant-garde movements were looking for the last possibility of arts. A way where the artists had to study themselves to start a rite of passage beyond the known borders and secure truths. Be honest, authentic, creative, rebellious, nonconformist, fantastic, scandalous, bold, fear, sweet, strange, even abject… To believe that a hell can be turn into a paradise, and a paradise into an artwork. To fight for nothing and for everything. To discover the poetry hidden in a prison and the beauty of a green skull… In the end, to honor imagination was their badge.
To write this book has been a pleasure. In a time where everybody speaks about corruption and nasty materialistic realities, I’ve been living among blue ghosts who flied (and fly) to colorful worlds of hope and who never surrounded to the established rules, because their mind was human and the Homo Sapiens Sapiens is much more than a tool.
Enjoy the book!
Art Definition. Classic Greek Gallery. Yareah magazine.
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Art Definition. What is Art? by Isabel del Rio.