Does Art Make a Difference? Research Assignment Paper (Research Paper Sample)
to discuss how art makes a difference in the world and our lives. The assertion in this SAMPLE is that historical forms of art such as Renaissance paintings and ancient Greek art have contributed significantly to the world as genres of education, entertainment, or to empower people.source..
Does Art Make a Difference?
Does Art Make a Difference?
There should be a constant fight for art to be recognized as a relevant part of our society. Have you ever wondered why when put in the face of inequality, strife, and injustices, artists are usually the first to speak up. Their works are regularly displayed in newspapers portraying a social issue, and this has become important to people. Certainly, art enables people of all colors, sizes, and shapes to express themselves. For instance, 1934 oil on canvas painting by Philip Evergood made headlines when it portrayed labor strife in America’s mines and factories. The painting also depicted the onset of the great depression in 20th Century America. The government then improved efforts to boost the economy, and this led to funding of such artists. Also, the French Revolution was flanked by artistic styles such as Neo-classicism and Rococo. This heroic phase emerged as an idea to enlighten people about human rights. This case study demonstrates how historical and current art portray social issues hence making a difference. From a recent approach, according to Taylor (2013), two Syrian refugees living in America, Afashe and Abdo, believe strongly in the power of political art to impact the lives of people. Through their art forms, these two artists have expressed their opinion on the Syrian war to make a difference. Research findings such as Miller (2013) also stress the relevance of art by indicating that paintings as a form of art make people smart and sensitive to social issues. Most importantly to Miller’s study, art instills people with historical empathy as well as critical thinking skills.
Purpose of this study
In this light, the aim of this paper is to discuss how art makes a difference in the world and our lives. The assertion in this study is that historical forms of art such as Renaissance paintings and ancient Greek art have contributed significantly to the world as genres of education, entertainment, or to empower people.
What is art?
Art can be defined as an expression of human imagination in visual forms such as sculptures or paintings. The Athenian philosopher Plato defined art as an imitation of appearance or reality (Herman, 2014). Art has been part of our lives since existence. It is argued that the origins of art go back to the Neanderthal age. Thousands of years ago people used to carve and make drawings in caves as a way of communication. Art captures the eye and communicates emotions to the audience who receive it. To fully understand the significance of art in our lives, one must picture life without art. Everything around us is art. From the ceramic objects in our homes, graffiti on the streets, pictures, and many more. For instance, Italian Renaissance artist Donatello created the ‘Androgynous David’ sculptor in 1404 that portrayed David of the Bible in a manner once deemed scandalous.
Figure 1: Donatello’s David bronze statue (ItalianRenaissance.org, 2012)
Art is critical thinking and imitation, and Donatello was well aware of this as represented in his works. Far more important is that art is a way to touch the lives of others. Perhaps its beauty aspects entertain and enable people to rest from their problems. The Italian Renaissance period was a time for extraordinary artistic expression during periods of political instability. Additionally, the Romanticism and Rococo periods in the 18th Century represent a revolt against restraints of the enlightenment period that followed. The artists such as Antoine Watteau wanted only to create truthful and pure art that were based on making a difference through real life events (Shelley, 2009).
How does art affect our lives and the world?
In history, there are many artworks that have made a difference worldwide. From Renaissance painters such as Masaccio, Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci, Titian, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Picasso, and many more have influenced the world. According to Zambon (2013), such masterpieces give the viewers an intense experience that activates their emotions. Engaging with such artworks affects the human brain. This study is further echoed by a German research that found that visual art enhances effective interaction in the parts of the brain (Brooks, 2014). The Viewers can feel the flinging on the canvas painting, and their brain can respond similarly through embodied recognition. Renaissance paintings have long influenced society and modern America. Today, Renaissance art has proved to the world that it could be used to depict 3D objects in buildings in a technique called Renaissance perspective (Nix, 2012).
Renaissance arts have also brought a focus on realism and humanism. Such ideals have been put forth by churches. Indeed, today, Renaissance art has influenced contemporary American culture. Historical figures such as Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci have made it possible for humanity to view the world differently today. For instance, one of the most imitated and a recognized portrait of all time is the Last Judgment on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. For many years, this artwork has allowed European painters to draw ideas.
Figure2: The Last Judgment by Michelangelo (Sewell, 2010)
Regarding literacy setting and characterization, one historical figure such as Giovanni Boccaccio has made important contributions in today's world of literary works. Giovanni is the author of the famous ‘The Decameron' which is a collection of stories that revolve during the Black Plague. His style has also been of focus of films and televisions today. Another significant artist who has contributed to the Renaissance is Leonardo da Vinci with his masterwork the Mona Lisa. The painting has combined science, and art hence society would not have been the same. In a nutshell, his works have influenced the contemporary American culture; Da Vinci showed the world that art and science can be combined and this, has today been emulated in new technologies such as video games within a simulated world (Smith, 2011).
Figure 3: The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci (Smith, 2011)
Today, Renaissance art has influenced the dogmatic and old doctrinal ideas that are promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church. These ideologies were challenged by the likes of Vincenzio Viviani, Galileo, and Da Vinci, who challenged the older order. Renaissance art has also brought strides in painting styles worldwide such as the use of oil paints. During historical periods, Renaissance art was a provision of religion, but it has now become an aspiration, pleasure, and entertainment. Most of the architectural designs practiced during the Renaissance period are still being practiced even in our homes. For instance, artists and architects are taking inspiration from ancient Greeks and Romans to create high ceilings (Renaissance ceilings) that give the impression of grandeur and stature (Pockett, 2012). Personally, Renaissance art has led to knowledge spread, for instance, Johannes Gutenberg, a German citizen, was responsible for inventing the printing press in 1450. Consequently, it led to an informed society. Before this Renaissance, education was reserved for the wealthy and texts were handwritten. The printing press revolutionized how communication was done. Thanks to it, ideas spread throughout Europe and the world. This example demonstrates how forms of art have made a difference in the world today.
Is art a form of entertainment?
Music, film, poetry and even paintings are all art and genres of entertainment. For an artist like Michelangelo, who made use of extensive wordplay in his poetry, his works are still reflected in the society we live in. Art styles such as Baroque art, Rococo, Impressionism, and Renaissance are forms of entertainment. Put it this way. If all art is created with the intention of been seen or heard then it a form of entertainment. At its best, Renaissance art such as the works of Michelangelo has inebriated us to the realities of the world. Entertainment makes us feel good, but the problem is it does not change us and as humans we desperately need change. On the other hand, art entertains and transforms us. Today, art is considered as commodities as artists work and antiques are being sold at high prices at auction houses. It cannot be ignored that it does not trade very often like other commodities like gold or oil, but perhaps comparable to real estate; therefore, art is a sound investment that has made a difference worldwide.
The Renaissance period has a large impact on the world and our lives in multiple ways. Various ways of artistic expressions such as music, writing, and painting have been instrumental in shaping our cultural outlook. Today, schools and art institutions have followed the footsteps of impressionist painters such as Van Gogh, who introduced a new approach to using colors in a painting. Instead of merely representing an artwork, Van Gogh opened up brush strokes and emphasized the poetry and sentiment behind the images. A classic example of his work that has been emulated by artists today to make a difference in impressionism is The Starry Night.
The Starry Night by Van Gogh, 1889 (Chandler, 2012)
Another artist who has made it possible for artists today to exaggerate contrasts in light and shadow is Caravaggio. The use of light sources such as lamp and candle within the picture in his artwork The Calling of St Mathew has become a depiction of religious subjects and realism. It has provided an impetus for literature today.
The Calling of St Mathew by Caravaggio (Sewell, 2010)
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