Art with a purpose

A collection of art representing the different functions of art.

Art for Delight. This function involves art work that is pleasing to the eye. Something one would keep for decoration, to be admired. The decoration of otherwise mundane objects falls into this category. This Chinese water dropper is an example of art for delight. An otherwise normal tool, used for mixing ink for calligraphy, is shaped and decorated to look like a turtle. This makes the water dropper different and special.
Art as Commentary. This type of art functions to tell a story or an opinion. This could be about a particular event, about a certain person, or express an opinion. It can also be as simple as a representation of daily life, giving the viewer a glimpse into that moment in time. This painting does just that by showing us what a day of working in the fields looks like at the time this was painted. The type of clothes that were worn, tools used, and even what they ate for lunch. This painting is like a window to the past.
Art in Worship and Ritual. Art has been incorporated by many many religions throughout the world in various forms, heightening the experience. This can be with artistic instruments used in rituals for their symbolism, art that tells religious stories, or art dedicated to a deity with the goal to inspire worship. This piece falls into this category as it depicts part of the story of Siddhartha. Specifically how as a prince he decided to leave everything behind to become an ascetic. This was the beginning of him becoming Buddha.
Art for Commemoration. This form of art is used to remember. Fallen soldiers in battle, loved ones, public figures, or events of significance. It can be private such as a painting of a deceased relative, or very public like the 9-11 memorial in New York. This marble sarcophagus is an example of a personal memorial, showing the life of the deceased by depicting important events in his life.
Art for Persuasion. Art that tries to influence the observer's opinion of something falls into this function. The influence can have positive connotations such as advertisement trying to convince people a product is good for them or can be negative warning the viewer about something or revealing something like certain political propaganda. This painting hangs in a court house and depicts a story where an innocent man is punished and Otho the one who sentenced him punishes himself so that there is justice. This is so that those who are in the court believe that justice will be had there.
Art for Self Expression. In this type of art the artist is trying to tell the viewer about themselves. Their personality, what they are feeling at the time the work is done, what their thoughts are, or where they come from / their upbringing can all be art of self expression. Self portraits are one of the most common ways for an artist to do this. In this piece the artist uses a style called foreshortening that makes him look as if he is reaching out to the viewer as if forcing them to look upon him. Titling the work "The Great Colonel" hinting at his time in the military, the artists pose is one of strength that speaks to how he views himself.
Credits: All media
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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