U1L1 - ARS300 | Intro to Art and Popular Culture Unit 1...

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ARS300 | Intro to Art and Popular Culture Unit 1 : What is Art? Purposes & Principles of Art & Design I. Themes and Purposes of Art Lecture We all have a vague idea of what art is, but we may find it difficult to define in concrete terms. We attribute great cultural and monetary value to art, and most of us think that art enhances our lives. Governments and private donors spend millions of dollars every year to buy, commission, restore and protect works of art. At auctions, works by Picasso and Van Gogh regularly sell for millions of dollars. We decorate our public and private spaces with sculpture, painting, and designer furniture. At the same time, we struggle to create definitive guidelines or judgments for what constitutes art. Art critics and non- specialists alike can disagree about whether a common, mass-produced object should qualify as art or whether abstract art is as good as realistic art. The following quotes reveal the broad spectrum of attitudes about art: “Art is a potential link across differences. It can be constructed as a bridge among people, communities, even countries” —Suzanne Lacy “Art is what you can get away with.” –Marshal McLuhan “Art remains the one way possible of speaking truths.” —Robert Browning “Art is the most beautiful of all lies.” —Claude Debussy “Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it.” –Vladimir Mayakovsky “This is art???? My three-year old can draw better than that!” –Parent in front of a Jackson Pollock painting “Art is harmony.”—Georges Seurat
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