Intro to Visual Culture
What is Art?
According to the reading by Mary Anne Staniszweki, and what was discussed in class, art is subjectively defined by cultural innuendos. Throughout the text Mary Anne Staniszweki states, “The magnificent objects and fragments and building created by pre-modern peoples were appropriated by our cultures and transformed into Art.” (Staniszweki, 28). Meaning that all the relics, painting, sculptors, and objects that were created and developed throughout history were not in fact art, but instead religious icons, everyday objects, or a way of communication between generation before the implementation of modern day practices.
However, the notion that “Art and the word itself doesn’t exist among ‘primitives.’ We have created it in thinking about ourselves, about our satisfaction. We created it for our sole and unique use.” (Staniszweki, 31) is false and is proven wrong throughout historical text. The Statue of “David” by Michelangelo is a testament to this idea, that although the word “Art” itself is a modern day invention the emotion and ideology that is the foundation of this work is not a modern day belief. The statue of David was created as a representation of a Biblical hero, David and was commissioned to stand in the Cathedral of Florence. Upon completion, “patrons were so overwhelmed by David’s beauty that they decided to scrap the plan and place it where it could be appreciated up close.” (Accademia.org; Michelangelo’s David) Confirming that though ancient societies may not have used the word “Art”, the connotation of what “Art” has remained present throughout out history.