What makes art, art?

By: Kaleigh Miller

This bronze statue, Figure of Athena, is a persuasive piece for what I assume is the assembling of a group of people to fight for something they collectively believe in. The textbook suggests that persuasive art is intended to influence actions or opinions. The use of Athena is important because she is the goddess of war. In this statue, she is holding her hand in a balled fist, which is symbolic of strength and fighting. Her upper body is textured in what appears to represent body armor and she is also wearing a helmet. Her stance and attire are intended to make her appear as a leader, thus emphasizing Art as Persuasion.
This carved stone is representative of Art in Worship and Ritual. It appears to be in honor of Buddha. It is believed that Buddha will bring enlightenment and wisdom to people who practice the religion of Buddhism. The multiple carvings are of people that seem to be praying and partaking in some sort of ritual involving a man in charge and a sacred object. It seems there are both men and women and people of varying class, which shows that everyone is accepted in this ritual. The textbook says that certain objects are intended to look precious in order to enhance the ceremony, in this case it would be the vase-object in the center.
The media of this Japanese mask includes lack and metal. In the description it sates that this mask and others similar to it were used for theatre performances. The artist made this mask to specifically give this character an identity. The mask represents Art as Self-Expression in my opinion because when the actor put on this specific mask, he became a specific character. The character is unique and has his own personality compared to the others. The artist’s personality is also reflected through the mask by his technique and interpretation of this character’s face, which plays a part in establishing a bond between the artist, the character, and the audience.
This oil on canvas painting of a field is a prime example of Art for Delight. It has a romantic feel to it, which makes since because it was created in honor of the artist’s train ride from Paris. The artist captures what appears to be a calm evening in a remote place. The painting is simple, but beautiful. The many different colors in the field and the distressed blue sky compliment each other nicely and result in the creation of a harmonious atmosphere. The horizon line appears to be straight across the plain, which is aesthetically pleasing to me and emphasizes this piece’s purpose of Art for Delight.
Blind Man in Belsen is a painting created by Alan Moore, who was hired as an Australian official war artist. He painted scenes that were a result from the catastrophic Holocaust which also represents Art as Commentary. This painting was one of the many terrible moments that he experienced while the war in Europe was coming to a close. The purpose of his art is to record scenes from the conflict, educate people about the horrible violence that occurred during this time, and capture the feelings and emotions of the people who suffered, their loved ones who morn them, and the effect the event had on the world overall. He used a gray monochromatic color scheme to emphasize the darkness of this event.
This bronze medal coin dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott represents Art as Commemoration. These two icons are significant to the history of America and are very courageous figures specifically regarding African American rights. The textbook says that this category of art is typically public, which is emphasized in this piece by the fact that the art is printed on a coin. I think that this medium is symbolic of the effects the Kings have had on African American rights for so many years. Coins are known to circulate for years after they are created, just like how the King’s vision of equality lives on today.
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