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Considered Actual Art

Analysis of Art and Design Articles

Conservative Views

According to The art instinct: Beauty, pleasure and human evolution by Dutton (2009), there are several attributes of arts seen across all cultures and considered universal. The rest do not in any way signify the presence of art. The author is cautious not to disqualify the fact that it is not always easy to conclude that the practices characterized by most of such features are not pieces of art. He explains that Aesthetic Relativism has hindered accurate investigations to the arts universal definition. According to his submissions, the possibility of aesthetic values being universal should not be denied because of instantaneous putative misunderstanding across cultures (Dutton, 2009).

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For a POE to qualify sufficiently to be a piece of art, it must have the features explained below though not necessarily all of them:

i. A piece of art whether it is a crafted artifact, a narrative story or aural and visual performance, should directly portray pleasure. Furthermore, such aspects as the communication/information or practical considerations of arts are considered pleasure objects in their nature.

ii. Art should portray certain virtuosity and skills as the production of an artistic object or presentation of an artistic performance requires specific knowledge and exercise.

iii. Art should be presented in a particular style, based on the composition and rules of composition and form. Moreover, arts are categorized in different styles depending on the artists and players. Therefore, styles are the basis with which artists creativity arises.

iv. It is attributed with features such as creativity and novelty valued for both the exploration of the depth of possibilities and attention grabbing.

v. In an artistic work, there is some sort of appreciation and criticism/judgment that may be elaborate or simple.

vi. The artwork is a representative of imaginary and real experiences and audience derives pleasure in the way in which an art and art objects are represented.


The above picture can serve an example of a genuine piece of art as it represents some of the above-mentioned features, mainly it portrays pleasure, indicates artists skills, is famous for its creative form, etc.

The shoes seen on the above picture are not entertaining and do not represent anything peculiar, thus not accepted as art.

The Institutional Theory of Art

A particular social system determines what an art is, and any POE is not considered a piece of art as long as it is not accepted in the system. The worthiness of a POE varies depending on the characteristics which the POE portrays. The characteristics differ from time to time in the same social system, and whatever is accepted at one time may not be accepted later. The position of a POE in the art world is the determinant rather than its physical and descriptive characteristic.


For instance, the sculpture above may or may not be artistic, depending on the characteristics sensitive to the society.

According to Martin Irvine, the art worlds function is to validate, define, and preserve art in the cultural category. Furthermore, it should yield acceptance of the society as a whole in the authenticity of the art worlds confidence to do so. According to Arthur Danto, the art world is the platform through which art theories that all members in a particular art world silently assume to exist are referred to as art (Institutional Theory of Art, n.d.).


For instance, Stonehenge is a sacred place used to perform rituals; therefore, such a feature may make it artistic.

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According to Bourdieu, economic and social lived positions determine the artwork. It demands ownership and knowledge of cultural or symbolic capital being the feature of an identity of social class. Moreover, the concepts and theories of art should follow social class and learned professional differentiation.

Based on George Dickies theory, art classification is based on the candidates nature for appreciation, present human intentionality (artifact), and persons or a single person representing a particular social institution (Institutional Theory of Art, n.d.).

Other Philosophical Systems

John Dewey

According to Dewey (2006), art is true and universal and resembles human nature. However, the universal nature does not include lower senses such as smell and taste in the category of beautifulness. Moreover, it excludes any basis of external ends and ownership feeling. The beauty of aesthetic feeling is not a thing of a time or place, but a universal aspect. One cannot predict the qualities that will seem beautiful, therefore, one cannot define art.


The above picture does not represent any artistic form because it has no level of ideality.

Dewey (2006) ranks arts based on ideality level. The least measure of ideality is architecture even though it is religiously more fit. Sculpture takes second place because it is associated with humans by its human figure presentation. A painting more ideal as it is the representation of mans needs and passion in a two-dimensional surface, limiting its sensuousness. Harmony is at the core of music and it manifests the soul of a man so it is more ideal. Poetry is completely ideal owing to its minimal sensuousness and intense mans vital personality. Finally, the most significant is drama as it engages humans in the activity.

Dewey (2006) also dwells on the role of communication in arts. The revelation of the phenomenon of men is referred to as communication and arts are instruments used to make the communication effective. Communication is not enjoyed for any of its aspects, but for its own sake, normally in drama and song. Enjoyment standards are fixed by art in life, thus making it highly critical. From the above description, it can be concluded that art is a determinant of what is to be desired in life by men. Furthermore, the art direction in a community is determined by its levels.


The picture above is more ideal and can be used to communicate a message.

Furthermore, art is an instrument/parameter that defines discrimination, creates standards and enlarges vision. Aesthetic and artistic are common in that both of them involve perception in which consummatory and instrumental intersect. However, while aesthetic experience is communicated with knowledge and no sensual gratification, art supplies us with an article full of meaning. The sense of art necessitates grasping potentialities. Finally, the players (artists) are people talented enough to integrate defined and focused perception in progression.

When art is part of a persons life experience it can be considered actual art. Unlike tangible objects we encounter in our daily life artwork does not remain identical but is recreated. It means that it is difficult for artists to define the actual meaning of their works because an artwork portrays varied meanings at different times.

Nelson Goodman

According to Goodman (1997), art is a language and method that enables people to represent and know the world they are living in. Various things, including sculptures on floors of living rooms, childrens drawings, murals found on buildings, and museum paintings characterize art. It is an opportunity for the audience and artists to reflect, imagine and question life encounters. It also grants people the chance to view thing that do or do not exist.


The kind of painting on the building is represented artistically and stands for a certain tradition. With the image, people question such painting to try to find an explanation for why it looks how it does.

An art is not defined by the work or by special properties or virtues inherent in the object itself but by the way people around it view it. According to Goodman (1997), a question concerning the nature of art is wrong. On the contrary, the question should be when art is art, and not what art is in the philosophy of art. Symbolic properties of artwork status relevantly define pieces of work as art.


This cake is viewed as just food; there is no art in it. However, there may be some art at some given time later.

Exemplification in Goodmans (1997) work is used to illustrate various issues, art expression being one of them. However, the impression of artistic style, for example, a piece of clothing, is an art if it exemplifies referring shape, size, and texture among others. Authenticity is significant only in the case of the absence of notationality. Therefore, it means that there is no difference whether a piece of music is performed from a congruent or the original copy because the notational scheme is dominant in the score.

Cultural Aesthetic Systems

Balinese Aesthetics

In this culture, taksu term is used to refer to the inspiration contained in the mask, costume, puppet, or musical instrument and aspired by artists. Some Balinese sometimes extend this definition to various artistic works like painting. Furthermore, other activities including cooking may be considered. Past artists whose works were highly appreciated help shape up relics that have aided inheritance of the taksu from old paintings or antique recordings (Davies, 2007).

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Balance and unity between form and elements together with technical sufficiency and bond between life/nature and art denote what could be defined as beautiful and ugly. For example, the occupants body parts of a Balinese house measure its beauty, as there are mutual balance and harmony between the occupants and the building itself.


Without occupants, this building is not an art, as it will not have any kind of harmonic balance.

Artworks in their presentation and creation are in Bali an act of devotion. The aim of this religion is to balance the forces of evil and good. Therefore, it is normal for Balinese performers and artists to offer their services regularly at their village temple ceremonies for free. Artworks are categorized to single out special performances that should be performed only to Balinese alone (Davies, 2007).

In addition, people should make more effort to preserve art, as it is neither static nor conservative. The sacred forms of art are required in the original form of existence. For instance, statutes have been made of stone as they last permanent, thus preserving the culture they portray for as long as they stay unaltered. However, they wear quickly, and thus nowadays statutes are made from cement cast shaped traditionally (Davies, 2007).

This sculpture is artistic due to its symbolic nature used to preserve Bali culture.

Christian Aesthetic

People in their daily life encounter aesthetics and mostly include them during the conversations with or without knowing (Solomon & Williams, n.d). For example, people may make certain conclusions ignorantly without taking into consideration how the statements apply to what they have encountered. These statements are merely a result of the immediate impact of the experience. Individuals are challenged as they try to consider the qualitative statements about the experience with an aim of obtaining universal procedures applicable to all arts. When they realize the challenge, they acknowledge the great arts and artists.

Aesthetics is defined by the way people react to nature. A Christian perspective of art is that praise goes to those who judge the act and the cause itself, i.e. the concern of the judgment is the art itself and the artist as well. Majestic mountains, sunsets, and torrential waterfalls normally cause the human aesthetic reaction. However, the nature does not contain moral statement (Solomon & Williams, n.d.).

Such a picture may be rejected owing to its lack of a moral statement.

All arts may be not be significant to Christians as not all of them have a statement that is considered moral to them and one which makes sense should not be left alone but be dealt with. For example, the following photo has a strong moral statement demonstrating a German act of bombing during the Second World War.


This picture is accepted because of its moral statement.

Art is a strong element of communication used to praise in a Christian perspective. The greatness of an art defines its ability to enact a forceful communication (Solomon & Williams, n.d.). Art can be used to distinguish and define purity and its related concepts. It differentiates what is pure and rejects what is impure, worldly, and sordid.

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