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When is something art?

Schrödinger's Name

Blessed With A Curse
Jul 20, 2019
The thread title speaks for itself. I'd like to know when you think something is art, when someone is an artist and why.

From time to time I think about when exactly you are able to call something art and I have tried to come up with a 'definition'. This definition is of course how I personally 'decide' whether or not something is art or which category it falls into. I am pretty sure that some people may find my definition overly critical and/or harsh since saying that something is not art is most of the time perceived as an insult (even though it does not have to be). This is just how I think about it. I always like to say that I don't call myself a mathematician simply because I know that 2+2 = 4. So why not be more strict on art? Personal feelings aside.

I wanted to explain my viewpoint but I've decided to wait a bit (also because I honestly forgot half of my definition- I've wanted to make this thread for a while, my definition made sense when I thought about it one month ago, okay).

Because of that I decided it could be more fun to maybe stir the pot a bit and start with a possible 'controversial' viewpoint. Are photorealistic drawings/paintings that are completely copied* art? Why (not)?
*Copied here is of course in the sense of: you have a picture of a dog, you draw/paint exactly what you see in the picture without adding/changing anything.


New member
Sep 9, 2020
Instinctual Variant
For me they aren't.
I think art is the portrayal of something personal to the artist that can't be properly explained,so it must be portrated with sound,figures of speech,imagery or whatever.It's basically communication of something intense that can only be properly communicated in art as a language.It doesn't have to be something complex or "deep"(Gosh,how I hate that word in that context).It can be something very simple,like the joy you felt a particular day when you were a kid and mom came home with more food than usual,the time a teenage girlfriend broke up with you or something as simple as that,if you think that a normal explanation or description of the emotion simply fails to do it justice.
For this reason I honestly think that most things arent art,but not because people are dumb,rather because people are insincere,dishonest,afraid of showing vulnerability.If people were more honest the world would be filled with artists.I think everyone in the world can create art,in fact,I believe children do it on a regular basis.Since they lack much vocabulary,they often communicate the way they feel using drawings or unintentionally using very idiosyncrasic figures of speech.
Also,I do not know how to continue this reply.Please do not be angry at me.