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What is art for?

The Debut Of Art: For Society?

Those who argue that the first emergence of art was for society say that art has served social needs since the beginning of human history, They claim to serve beliefs and values. For example, animal figures drawn on cave walls are seen as part of hunting rituals. The purpose of these paintings is to enable hunters to establish a spiritual connection with their game animals and increase the preservation of the hunt. Similarly, pyramids in ancient Egypt, They are huge tomb structures that symbolize the immortality of the pharaohs and deify them. The murals, sculptures and inscriptions inside the pyramids are artistic products that tell about the lives, actions and beliefs of the pharaohs. As can be seen from these examples, art had a social function when it first appeared. Art is a reflection of people's efforts to survive, believe and give meaning.

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Development Of Art: For Art's Sake?

With the development of art, the social function of art begins to decrease. Artists argue that art is not only limited to serving society, but also that art has its own value and beauty. An understanding of art for art's sake emerges. According to this understanding, art does not carry any purpose or message. Art deals only with artistic forms and techniques. Art itself is the goal. Some of the artists with this understanding are:

Oscar Wilde: 19th century British writer Oscar Wilde is one of the leading figures of the aestheticism movement. Aestheticism is a movement that argues that art is made for beauty. In Wilde's famous novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, he says: "The only perfection in art is form. Anything that seeks to express an idea or arouse a moral feeling is either bad literature, or bad music, or bad painting."

Paul Cézanne:19th-century French painter Paul Cézanne is one of the pioneers of modern painting. Instead of reflecting nature realistically, Cézanne explores the relationships between color, light and form. Cézanne's paintings form the basis of the transition from impressionism to cubism. Cézanne says: “Art is an interpretation of nature.”

Marcel Duchamp: 20th century French artist Marcel Duchamp is one of the leading names of the dadaism and surrealism movements. Duchamp produces works that shake the traditional understanding of art and question what art is. Duchamp's most famous work is Fountain, which he declared a work of art by signing a pisoar. Duchamp says: “Art is what the artist chooses.”

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Art Today: Art for Art's Sake Or For Society?

When we look at art today, we see that there is no clear answer to the question of whether art is for art's sake or for society. Art comes in a wide variety of forms, techniques and purposes. While some artists think that art should be original and creative, others argue that art should draw attention to social problems or produce solutions. As examples of today's art, we can give the following:

Banksy:21st century British street artist Banksy is an artist whose identity is secret and who became famous for the graffiti he painted on walls. Banksy's works offer a socially critical view of war, capitalism, consumption, injustice, comprehensive. Banksy says: “Art should be everywhere. Art should not only be in galleries and museums, but also on the streets and on the walls.”

Pablo Picasso: 20th century Spanish painter Pablo Picasso is one of the founders of the cubism movement. Picasso offers a critical look at social issues such as war, violence and injustice in his paintings. Picasso's most famous work is Guernica, which depicts the pain of the town of Guernica bombed by Nazi Germany during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso says: “Art is a mirror that lies.”

Bertolt Brecht:20th century German writer Bertolt Brecht is one of the founders of the epic theater movement. In his plays, Brecht offers a critical look at social problems such as capitalism, fascism and class struggle. Brecht's most famous play is The Diary of Anne Frank, which tells the story of a woman who stood up against Nazi Germany. Brecht says: “Art exists not to entertain us, but to make us think.”

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"Art for art's sake or art for society?" There is no single answer to the question. What art is and for what purpose it is made vary according to the conditions of time and place. Many different views have emerged throughout the history of art. I tried to summarize these views in this blog post. I hope this article was useful for you. The person who reads this article understands that the first emergence of art was for society. He was also informed with examples showing how art is used in art today. The person who reads this article understands it enough to share it with his friends.

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