What is Art?

“Poetry expresses the universal.” – Aristotle conceptualised art as being the effort with which to imitate the natural and set it forth for an audience to find pleasure. Imitation is natural and universal in humans. The act of imitation is one of our earliest learning tools as we grow by utilising it. Aristotle believed that the purpose of art was to bring  inward significance and thus it was not to educate the mind, but an education of the heart.

Tolstoy went on to further explain that art was one of the conditions of human life. He believed that true art, caused the audience to enter into a connection with the artist himself and be metamorphosized by the artistic impression. The artist externally creates his art in order to hand on to others, those feelings he has himself experienced,, so that others can be infected and also discover those same emotions.


Berklee Professor Tate depicts art as the process of manufacturing; the infinite contained on a mere sheet of paper.  Art is expansive. Tate further describes art as the means to exorcise one’s demons. As whenever he is anxious or frustrated, he goes to his art station and uses his creations as a means to release all turbulent emotions.


I believe that art elicits a change of chemistry. This entails that the audience’s emotions will be immediately affected and transformed once coming into contact with the artwork. Art is also the sharing of concepts and the exploration of perceptions. These are my proposals for the definition of art. I completely identify with Tolstoy, and how he believes that art is a characteristic of human life. Thus art defines and is interwoven in every facet of our being, whether we are aware of it or not. Art affects us all, no matter the age, race, language or any prejudice one has. I also identify with Professor Tate’s exploration of release whilst he is creating his art. As a composer, I feel an abundant transformation and catharsis while I am at work in my field.  Lastly, I agree with Aristotle that art has to do with an inward significance, however I believe the soul and body are one. So any change inwardly will be reflected in our actions and mind. I believe that  when we are unwell and we listen to music, our emotions change within, and our physical bodies will also be renewed They will look and feel younger and improved. Art is our access point to fulfilment. Fulfilment of heart, mind, body and soul!

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