The Impact Of Art On Social And Cultural Context Essay

1384 Words Mar 16th, 2016 null Page
Evaluate the claim that what constitutes ‘art’ is highly dependant on social and cultural context.

In a world where one can roll out of bed leaving a disarray of sheets and strewn tissues and call it art (Emin 1998), we could be forgiven for believing that the former famous greats of the art world such as Van Gogh and Da Vinci might well be turning in their graves at the preposterous levels at which art can be declared within our contemporary society. This begs the debate of what is it that we actually define as being a work of ‘art’?
If art were to be summarised as simply that which we find to be beautiful or inspiring and thus worthy of our appreciation; how then would this include an unmade bed or a Barnett Newman coloured canvas? In this respect it can then be considerably argued that the concept of art is something more complex than aesthetic pleasure. In this essay I will examine and evaluate the ways in which we we define art as a concept and its products across different cultural communities, I will also attempt to show how this categorisation can be swayed by our social persuasions.

In his analysis of aesthetics from a cross cultural perspective Russell Sharman makes the claim that aesthetic perception is the attachment of values to experience; and aesthetic expression is the re-creation of experience through which those values are reconstituted and/or transformed (Sharman 1997:178). This would seem to confirm that the value which is placed on a piece of work…

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