What is art? Can it be defined? Philosophers have create countless theories to define art.
Ludwig Wittgenstein is his Philosophical investigation came up with the “family resemblance” view of art. In his theory Wittgenstein states that despite blatant similarities between works of art, “there may be no observable features which they all share” just like if you look like your father and your father looks like your great aunt but you and your great aunt don’t look alike. If this is the case for art, it’s a mistake to try to strictly define it.
Clive Bell poses another theory to define art. He says that all real art shares “significant form” - this is the relationship between the “distinctive features of a work of art’s structure”. So anything with significant form is art. Here he is talking about art that evokes aesthetic emotions when viewed of fully experienced. He believed that when calling something art, you’re not just classifying it, you’re giving this significant form worth.
Another philosopher, R.G. Collingwood defines art as being “non-physical”. He says it is only the emotion or idea in the artist’s mind that spurred the creation of the physical art work. Collingwood believes that the physical or audible creations that the artists make are just shells of what was happening to them emotionally when it was created. He also stated that there is a big difference between art and craft. Genuine art, he says is something that is spur of the moment and purposeless while craft has a purpose and is not real art. This would include things like tables and buildings. He also states that art for the purpose of entertainment is inferior because it is not true whimsical creation.
George Dickie has yet another theory that he calls the “institutional theory”. He states that all objects/sounds that society had deemed as art are all artefacts - they have been worked on by human beings. Also they have been given the status of “art” by someone in the “art community. By using these two classifications, this is how Dickie has defined art: it has been worked on by someone and it has been deemed worthy by someone in the art realm.
Webster describes art as: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
I would define art as something creation with intent. Anything that was made for a purpose whether it be to bring awareness, convey emotion, define an idea, pose a question, make a stand or just to distract partakers of the art from the everyday world. I don’t think art as to be defined by a critic or meet certain standard of a theory. I think art is just as much, if not more, for the artist as it is for the one experiencing it. I think giving art a strict definition discourages artist and gives certain kinds of art less worth. Anything that is created is art even if many critics don’t see it that way, it is at least art to the creator