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What is art?
Art is a fluid expression of human emotion. Art is raw talent in a world unprepared for its
effects. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Art is the cascade of auburn and crimson leaves falling from
trees, the scintillating hazels and sapphires found in our own eyes, the flow of completely new rhythms
harmonizing, the painstaking strokes of an urban mural, and so much more. Arguably, we are raised in
public schools with the idea that art is simultaneously Elmer’s glue or pinch pots and the tormented
ingenuity of Van Gogh’s oils. Art is something admirable, scoffable, incredible, indescribable, unique
and familiar. Art is business and art is pleasure, realistic and fictional, tasteful and incorrigible, love
and lust, expected and surprising, calculated and spontaneous. In fact, art is evolving every moment,
luring in wary youths and dissuading poised elders with the ever-inclusive label of ‘art’. Art can be the
sandy, crumbling foundations of civilization's past, such as Chichen Itza, a symbol of the Mayans
architectural prowess, or the absurd metaphorical usage of conventional objects, such as certain
chartreuse, oblong objects taped to a wall. Art is rash, art is spunky and eye-catching. Oftentimes, it is
used to make a statement, be it mundane or provocative. Art is not composed simply from traditional
mediums, such as liquid and canvas, chisel and stone, shutter and lens, but a plethora of
unconventional materials. Art is highly involved with public opinion, and more importantly, the influx
of new creators and sponsors. In such an innovative world, one must strive beyond social constraints to
be the first, or at least the biggest sensation in a culture fraught with media and pressure. Art is not
always received well, at least not in the time it is released. Many famous artists such as Van Gogh,
Poe, Cézanne, Dickinson and Monet only received proper acknowledgement and praise after death. Art
is a complicated subject matter. No one person can truly define it. However it is NOT a banana taped
to a wall that sells for over $1, let alone a few hundred thousand dollars. That is ridiculous, especially
when you consider the purchaser ATE the banana moments after the sale went through. That is a
mockery of art. Rembrandt is probably rolling in his grave.
What is beauty?
Beauty is truly in the beholder, or perhaps it's the loudest critic, with the biggest following and
public support. Beauty is not only similar to art, it is a major factor when interacting with the art world.
Beauty is something that has been used as a means of power, influence, weakness, inspiration and
marketing. Interestingly enough, art can help us better understand the standards of beauty and how
they have changed over time. Nowadays, the most common example of feminine beauty is one of two
extremes; slim and trim or curvaceous and voluptuous. Furthermore, one’s complexion also comes into
play. Most often, women want to be tanned and shapely in some way, as tanned bodies give the
illusion of more definition. This is interesting because a darker complexion and extremely thin bodies
were not always the ideal. In fact, in many portraits, the subjects are stout and extremely pale, a sign of
their wealth and inexperience with hard labor outside. Today, being extraordinarily skinny and richly
tanned does not necessarily mean that one is accustomed to manual labor outdoors with little food to
sustain their shapes. Aside from the human form, beauty is metaphorical, literal, natural, audible, and
visible. It is an understanding one reaches, full of desire, passion, ecstasy and awe. What one may
perceive as beautiful, another may find quite odd and off putting. Beauty is the gracefulness in which
ballerinas leap through the air, accompanied by the maestros orchestrating their various instruments.
Beauty is the verdure landscapes of the Scottish highlands, the intricate carvings of druids, the
tranquility of a zen garden. Beauty is an aesthetic, often misunderstood and misrepresented. It is visual,
but perceivable by all senses. It is not always without purpose, some find beauty in the way things
move and work. That's the beauty of it all. When delving into the definitions of such broad terms, one
must consider the very origins of the words themselves. Nevertheless, beauty is also a particularly
complicated term that can be classified with one specific definition. Take beauty school for example. It
is not an institution where one learns to be beautiful, but learns a trade involved with maintenance and
personal care of one’s body. But are sunsets not beautiful as well? See how beauty can be used in a
variety of situations that don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other. Beauty is fluid.