Art is an Abstraction

by haris on July 2, 2012

Art is a form of communication. But what is unique about art as opposed to other communication channels? What are the advantages of expressing yourself through art, as opposed to doing so through some other form? If you have something to say, why not just say it? What kinds of things are better expressed through art?

We express ideas through art because the very ideas we are expressing are inherently abstract. When the artist is asked what the meaning of her work is, the answer should not be so concrete. Art takes both the creator and the audience though multiple levels of meaning.  As a whole, these layers of meaning are actually better understood at a visceral level without being put concretely. Understanding requires a process, and going through this process ultimately enhances ones level of appreciation.

The goal of the artist, however, is not to create abstraction. In fact, intentional metaphors and symbolism actually cheapen art. The artist’s goal is to search for relatable ideas and emotions that can not be simply said, and to present them in as coherent a form as possible. The beauty is that the creator and audience can still connect on a fundamental yet abstract way.

Different artistic mediums are differently conducive to this type of abstract expression. Music and visual arts, for example, are inherently more abstract than the written word. I might argue that it takes the poet more effort to create true art than it does the painter. For me personally, I find something intimidating about creating art through the written word. I guess this is one of the reason I chose music instead :) .

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