What are some advantages and disadvantages of art?

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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is a good question. There are many purposes of art. Let me mention a few of them.

First, art can be a powerful means to express deep truths. This can cause a society to rethink things and grow. This is one of the most important functions of public art. Think of some of the art that was created in response to 911, or even the 911 memorial and museum. All the tragic loss of life shows that we live in a broken world.

Second, art can heal, because there is a sublime character to art. To use the 911 memorial and museum once again, many family members and loved ones of victims of 911 expressed that they felt a sense of closure and a healing. Both of these are valuable benefits of art.

With these things stated, there is also downside to art. We live in a pluralistic world. For this reason, art will be expressed and perceived in different ways. Hence, there will be different responses. In the end, not everyone will be happy. But this is life.

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ayeshasal | Student

Art is inherently about expression -- expressing and exploring emotions through some sort of medium, be it a sculpture, a poem, or a book. It's about learning what it means to be human, and what that means to you, specifically. Artists create not only to say something, but as a way to work through their lives -- a way to explore what they're feeling. Consumers of art do so not just to hear what an artist is saying, but to learn something about themselves or others or society as a whole. As such, the creation and consumption of art is cathartic, a way to explore one's own humanity and gain a sense of empathy, which is a huge advantage art has over something like, say, psychology, where you're still trying to accomplish something similar but often doing it in a dry, academic way that doesn't resonate as much, makes it harder to really understand how another person's feeling.

Art is also inherently subjective. It affects us all in very different ways; certain pieces of art that have no impact on me will reduce others to tears, and pieces of art that are important to me mean nothing to someone else. This subjectivity also invites complexity about what can and can't be art -- when does art go past the boundary and land into something vulgar, harmful, or demeaning? Is it still art, then? Who gets to decide? Because there isn't a solid boundary, people can also very easily abuse this uncertainty and claim malicious art is "just art" or "just a way of expressing themselves," and it's difficult to understand where the line gets drawn so people can hide behind that and get away with things they otherwise couldn't. This can arguably be a disadvantage of art.

tamsin2 | Student

Art is subjective. You may view the work of Picasso as art, whereas I may see the sugar plum fairy solo from the nutcracker ballet as art. Who decides whom is correct? Neither you nor I believe we are incorrect, for it is our opinion. Therefore this is one of the main disadvantages of art; it may mean something to one person yet nothing to another.

One would argue that that the purpose of art is to make someone feel something, at least this is my experience of art. It ignites a fire so deep that it makes one question, wonder, create and inspires. This is a true advantage of art. It allows us to feel a connection to life experiences, people maybe even places and this is entirely personal to the individual.

If you were to ask a room full of people to bring a piece of art to your next meeting, the variation would be truly incredible. This is the beauty of art. But when somebody turns to you and says 'that's not art', you need to know exactly why it is. Something made you view this piece as art and know one will ever truly know why, for art is subjective.

maxmister | Student

When asking the question “what are some advantages and disadvantages of art?” you really have to take into consideration the definition of “art” and its implications. While many authorities put forth definitions, in real world debate, these quickly break down. What is considered “art” is completely subjective and therefore determined by individual opinion.

There is no intrinsic, objective, property an object, event, or experience can posses that would give it the undeniable property of being “art”. For this reason, the term “art” is very divisive among artists and the general public. Many “artists” are convinced that what they do is “art”, while what someone else dose is most certainly not or that others that consider themselves “artists” are not artists at all. This type of thinking has lead to a high amount of stratification even within specific artistic disciplines.

This devisiveness about what is considered true “art” has both positive and negative repercussions. On the positive side, feeling that one endeavour is truly “art” while another is not, leads to great diversity in styles and ends up producing a wide variety of genres of visual art, music, writing, performance etc. However, if one particular field becomes dominated by the acceptance of only one style, it can lead to lack of diversity and ostracization of those who wish to go against the current trend.

 

arrellbelle | Student

Advantages of art include:

  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of creativity
  • Teaches people that there are a variety of possibilities
  • Helps for communication visually when there is no way of saying it verbally

Disadvantages of art include:

  • Art for one person may not be considered art for another person
  • If someone were to make a career out of art, their income would not compare to those within the medical field
zerokloppy | Student

Art allows people to express their feelings in a unique way.

However, not everyone interprets works of art the same way.  As such, art may sometimes become controversial.

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