Art is an expression of man’s feelings. Some artists use art as a medium for their feelings, while others use it as a means to express their feelings. The emotions evoked by art are strong and powerful, good and bad, and strong and weak. In art, men express their feelings through color, sound, and form. They may choose to express the raptures of love in a novel, the voluptuousness of a picture, or the courage of a triumphant march. They can be happy, sad, or lullabies.
While art has a personal function, it is also a universal expression of the basic human instinct for balance, rhythm, and harmony. Art is neither an action nor an object, but a state of mind, an internal appreciation of balance and harmony. While this experience can be unmotivated, appreciation of art provides a unique window into a person’s relation to the universe. In the same way, art has been an expression of our culture and a source of inspiration throughout history.
The first step in creating art is to identify what it is. The process of art begins with a person’s emotion, and then moves to infect others with that feeling. For example, a young boy relating his experience of encountering a wolf describes the surroundings. His movements express excitement and lightheartedness, while his voice conveys sadness or calmness. While a child may not be able to express his own emotions, he does evoke the feelings of others by describing his surroundings and the distance between him and the wolf.
The relationship between historical and modern conceptions of art is neither accidental nor arbitrary. Like the relation between Socrates’ diet and healthiness, the relationship between the two concepts is not random. The unity in the multiplicity of art concepts is only possible when one concept stands at the center of each. This is called core-dependent homonymy. This is a principle of art that has the potential to produce a multiplicity of ideas with many layers and facets.
The second sort of argument, based on the notion that art is a universal form, does not hold up. Modern art theories often exclude entities that are not culturally distinct. It is therefore unwise to base a definition of art on such a broad view. However, the argument can be used as a means to distinguish between works of art. It may be a way to define a concept of art in terms of how it is produced, but not necessarily its nature.
In postmodernism, the definition of art has become more radical than the traditional Deweyan definition. Today, it is no longer the same as “art,” which is a combination of formal and aesthetic characteristics. In postmodernist theory, art has a more holistic approach, involving the perception and experience of objects. Art can be a unified, powerful experience that transcends the physical world. For example, a painting could be an expression of a deep emotion.