Throughout my academic career as an art history student, I was constantly faced with the question: what is art? How do you define it? I held fast to the belief for quite some time that there is no one right way to define art, because it can exist in so many contexts. It is diverse and that is what makes it so interesting. And, more importantly, who has the authority to determine what constitutes art and what doesn't? Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder?
In diving deeper into the study of artists and their work, it became clear that one definitive quality that all of these artists have in common was that the work they created was intended. It was meant to be art- to express some emotion or opinion through sculpture or paint, whether or not the public would ever be exposed to the piece. I bring up this topic because I am currently interested in art dealing with typography. Typography uses words or phrases to address its viewers, and what I like most about these pieces is that the intended point is not always clear. A phrase may only make sense to one person on the entire planet, and yet it is art.
I recently came across an exhibition entitled You Are Beautiful that has installations all over the world. The concept of displaying a simple thought across a major highway or in a subway station in a big city, just for the sake of art, makes it one of the most dramatic pieces I have seen in a long time. Here are some of the pieces in the exhibition- I hope you love them as much as I do!
And also, for what it's worth (even if you don't find these pieces particularly attractive) who doesn't like to be told they are beautiful?
Riddle me that.