what does art really mean?

I am choosing this art piece to be categorized in the function of "art for delight". The "art for delight" category is for art that is purposefully beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. This painting shows an excellent ocean view from what seems to be a cliff. The color of the bright autumn leaves and the blue of the ocean I believe are what draw most viewers into this painting. For me, this piece of art invokes the desire for vacationing in a tropical area. I'm sure most who look on this painting would also relate it to a place they would like to visit as well. There is no question that this art piece is aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. This artist definitely created something beautiful when he chose this landscape for his painting, which is why I chose it to be under the category of "art for delight."
When looking at this portrait of the artist, one is able gain some knowledge on what type of person he is, his demeanor, his personality, and possibly his social background or class. This painting fits under the category of "self-expression" because the function of "self-expression" is to allow communication between the artist and the viewer regarding things like the artist's feelings and personal details about the artist. After seeing this painting, you can determine that this artist is probably a very serious man and probably a middle to upper class citizen given the clothes he is wearing. Also, according to the details provided on this piece, the artist portrays his unapproachability and his seriousness about his art.
I chose these sculptures to represent the "art in worship and ritual" function of art. This category of art differs widely among the different religions and cultures that are present in today's society as well as in past times. This type of art is used for reasons such as religious idolatry or even meditation purposes, depending on the culture or religion of course. Also, some art that would be found in this category is used for performing rituals. According to the details included with this art, these particular sculptures would have functioned as offerings that were place in the shrines of temples as a sign of the devotion that the offerer has to the deity that is being worshipped.
I chose this scarab carving to exemplify the "art for commemoration" function since it was created to commemorate a victory in Egyptian times. The "art for commemoration" category includes art that is created to help people remember significant people and events. In this instance, I believe the artist created the piece to give honor to the king as well. Without this commemorative piece, it is possible that today we would be unaware of this victory over the Egyptian rebels by King Shabaka. This scarab seems to me to be kind of like an ancient day trophy used to honor the victor as well as provide a way for people to remember the victory.
Art as commentary is the function of art that is used to communicate information with the viewer. That information could include world views, ideas, opinions, and even cultural and religious views and insight. In historical times, art was the form of visual communication. I chose this vessel as an example of the "art as commentary" function because of the cultural communication it possesses. On the sides of this vessel you see a scene playing out from Greek mythology. Part of Achilles' life is played out on this piece as you spin it around. I believe this piece is relative to the "art as commentary" function since it communicates information regarding the Greek cultural beliefs in this time era. This vessel gives the viewer insight into a culture that he or she may not know anything about.
The category "art for persuasion" includes art that is used to persuade the viewer to think a certain away about a person, place, or thing that he or she may have never thought of. It can also cause action on a certain matter such as what is portrayed in this photo. Shown in this photo are two children in a rural area where food is a scarcity. The purpose of this photo is to raise awareness about the hunger issue in India and influence action on the matter. The sight of apparently food deprived children "dreaming" of food causes the viewer to think about the hunger issue, which before seeing this photo may not have otherwise been aware of the situation.
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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