Armaan: Personal response to Knowledge and the Arts

In Knowledge and the Arts by Eric T. Macknight it raises questions about the purpose of art, how important is art to our lives depending on how we choose to view it? In Western culture “the purpose of art was to create beauty” but how about now (p. 1). If we merely view art as an attempt to create beauty then does it have a purpose other than for our pleasure? Nowadays art takes many forms and can be created to showcase disaster instead of beauty. These disastourous works “claim to be art” and this questions what art can truly be. How relevant is the artists mind compared to the viewers when it comes to judging artwork? People tend to view things differently and merely agree upon a similar judgment based off of what others have chosen. This sometimes leads to an ignorance towards the artists intentions.

“We don’t really need the arts. They are like the little fruits and candies added to a cake to improve its appearance. In other words, the arts are nice, but not essential” (p. 3).

There is a reason for our existence and as so there is a reason for the upbringing of art. I believe that everything exists for a reason. That the way people think, act, and talk have logical reasons for occurring. If we view art as mere “fruits and candies” on a cake then we restrict the purpose of art to only improve the appearance of the world. Honestly when we say “Art can mean whatever we want it to mean” this shows that we do not care for what it really means (p. 5). We should at least try to make sense of art with the use of logic. If something doesn’t make sense look at the colour, the shapes, the brush strokes, even if you can’t find a meaning behind art don’t automatically assume it has no meaning or it can mean anything you want it to be. However, can we rely on logic when trying to comprehend art? Lastly when we call something “great art” what does this mean (p. 10). What makes art “great,” why are some art pieces viewed as significantly more valuable compared to others? If an experienced artist creates a pieces and we judge that work when comparing it to a child drawing then we may always pick the work of art that is more beautiful, that shows more skill, that has meaning. Does “great art” raise questions? If so isn’t it just like good writing?

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