Artwork is more than just painting, drawing, or sculpture that you hang on a wall or set in a museum and think to yourself, “That looks pretty.” Art is the recognition of aesthetic, the recognition that an object is more than its obvious purpose. Although some animals create tools and build structures, humankind is unique in that our creations both serve functions and evoke emotion.
All of humankind’s endeavors can become art; indeed, they are art, a reflection of their creators. The most humble object can be imbued with “artness” when its designer and its maker recognizes the aesthetic of the object, seeing the object as something more than its innate function. One only has to look at the Bauhaus movement for excellent examples of the perception of the mundane object elevated to “artness” while retaining its essential function. The “artness” of an object enhances its function, creating an emotional bond and a desire for the object that makes the object more desirable, more valuable.
It has been said that art evokes emotion, and that is certainly true, yet art is more than crass provocation. When the designer and maker elevates a mundane object to become art the emotion evoked by the object cause the passerby to want to possess the object. Thus a cup can become a treasured heirloom, a piece of decoration within the room, and a moment of pleasure — all occurring simultaneously.
I posit that art sometimes has an obvious function, yet the function may also be to beautify your surroundings, to stir your emotions, to cause you to desire, to make your life more pleasant. Enjoy!