Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?

I just had a very infuriating discussion with somebody on here (really I replied once to them and they answered, still with the dame opinion, yet annoying me further) So, I decided I'd make my point here because there are some seriously ignorant people around.

Exoplaining; What is Art?

Well, according to Google, art is; the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Or; the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.

Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?

According to my teacher, art is only that which is successful.

Which, yes, to anyone not in her class, is a little confusing. Let me explain.

Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?

This is a piece of art titled 'Fountain' from 1917, produced by Marcel Duchamp.

There are many critics who are skeptical as to whether or not it actually is art. You see, it's not because they do not approve of having a urinal for a sculpture, no. It's because Duchamp quite literally bought a urinal and signed it. That is all he did. Then he called it art.

And as much as it pains me to say, he was right. This urinal with a signature is art. Why?

Because it was successful.

Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?

What about this? Is this art?

I have heard many people say no, even if they are the kind of people to consider only paintings to be true art.

But yes. It is.

Because its successful.

What about, this?Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?


(credit to this take for the picture and story, if you haven't seen it yet, go take a look. I'll wait.)

Dear everyone claiming that this is not art, and is in fact sick. Shut up. You feel that sickness in your belly? That is telling you that this picture is successful, and has just confirmed it's place under the definition of art.

This image is of a man holding his son in the shower, in an attempt to make the boys fever go down. It is not sexual, it is not wrong, literally the worst thing I can find about it is that social media decided to blow up about it.

But what is art?

I still haven't really answered that have I?

Okay, so back up to where I said art is only that which is successful.

To dummify it, I'll shorten it to these words; Art is that which evokes some kind of emotion within its viewer.

That's it. That is all.

What is art? Simple. If it makes you feel something than it is art.

Here's the catch.

Everything is art.

I once knew somebody who got very excited looking at architecture. She would drag me into the many buildings in Melbourne that still possessed some of the absolutely beautiful designs that were popular, fifty, eighty, a hundred years ago. That is art to her.

My brother is an electrician, he used to create things designed to zap my younger siblings and I out of an old light-switch and a double A battery. He was fascinated with how people do wiring, and how it all works. That is art to him.

Digital art, photography, this is all art, regardless of the high and might painters and sculptures who might claim other-wise on the basis that there is no effort put into these works.

Let me just debunk that one actually,

Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?

No effort? This has taken me over six bloody hours and I'm still no where near finished! You don't get to tell me that this isn't art.Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?

Photography! This is art. No effort? You have obviously never taken a photo with anything other than your phone. You need lighting to be right, you need the focus working properly (and automatic cameras are actually at a disadvantage there) you need a good subject and to try your darndest not to move and blur the picture.

(the two above images are mine and no, you do not have permission to have them for anything)

Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?Explaining Art: Well, Does It Evoke Emotion?

(Translation: This is not a pipe)

The above?

All art.


Because in at least one person they all evoked some kind of emotion.

Well, that's me for now. I have nothing else to add and I'm gonna be late for school (wouldn't that be tragic) so I look forward to seeing what you guys think.

BaileyisDarcy is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
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What Guys Said 2

  • Well that question depends on who you ask, but at the same time there is also a fine line between what is and what is not art because if we start calling nonsense like that urinal, art then it degrades actual art and actual artists with real skill and talent who put actual hard work into their pieces and it degrades the whole field in general when we accept stuff like that urinal.

    If we as artists as a whole continue to lower our standards to this trash, then real art will be forever gone, and we will continue to go backwards in terms of skill, talent and discipline until all that is left are trash artists wanting to make a few good bucks off of ripping off ignorant viewers who know no better. Art like that urinal above are exactly that inferior trash art made to make money off of fools.


  • Successful has nothing to do with it.

    • I didn't mean successful as in makes money or gets noticed. And if you read the whole thing youd know that. I mean successfulasin it evokes an emotion.

    • Show All
    • Anything can be art, but it doesn't need to be successful to be art. Like I said successful has nothing to do with it. Promotion has to do with emotional response from others. Think about all of the people emotionally responding to Donald Trump right now. Is that because his existence is a creative work of art, or because he was marketed?

    • Did the doctor say push, and Trumps mom was like Tada! it's a modern art masterpiece... or did political advisers and advertising executives provoke that emotional response?

What Girls Said 1

  • Would you agree music is an art? The lyrics, the music, the energy, it just evokes emotion to its listeners

    • Of course it is! Id have put it in but I thought it was already established as art. Thats why singers and songwriters are called artists.

    • It might be my favorite form of art, especially because it lets people vent their anger or sadness in a heathy way.

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