the purpose of art

I frequently visit bust magazine’s forums.. today some chic posted in the artist forum: what is the purpose of art? as an artist I figured I should respond:

art has many purposes.

Sometimes art serves a function such as in graphic design, architecture, ect. its purpose is obvious, its there for a reason.

Sometimes it functions as a communicator of ideas or aesthetic beauty such as in music, poetry, sculpture. Political art or conceptual art would communicate an idea. Conceptual art (for those who don’t know) is art where the idea/concept is more important than the thing your looking at. For Conceptual art see: Christian Boltanski, or Illya Kabakov.

Art is universal, many times it transcends language, like when you listen to a song in a language you don’t understand but you still think its a great tune.

Art can also be therapeutic, because it is universal, subjective, and an expression of the artist’s ideas, and feelings. Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth) once said in an interview, that she always feels good about herself after she has created something. I wholeheartedly agree with her statement.

Performance, visual, and literary arts kept me out of a lot of trouble as a teenager. I wrote, I danced, I sang, I drew, I painted. It was the reason I went to school, and I know of many artists who say the same thing.


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