25 Definitions Of Art

Goda Smilingyte
3 min readSep 15, 2021
Abstract painting by Gina Vor.

Defining art is not easy, that is why the “ What is art?” question has been floating around for centuries.

I have researched this topic in my blog that is published on my online art gallery, but today I would like to take a look at art through the eyes of talented artists.

But first, my own, personal, quite formal and yet simplified.

The Definition of Art

Art is an object, a result of artist’s imagination, creativity and skills. It moves us emotionally and offers an escape from reality.

And now let’s see what artists, writers and thinkers have to say.

25 Definitions of art

1. “Art is a way of recognising oneself, which is why it will always be modern”, Louise Bourgeois

2. “Art has always been the raft on to which we climb to save our sanity,” Dorothea Tanning

3. “Ultimately art is trying to see things that other people don’t see”, Trevor Paglen

4. “Art has to be something that makes you scratch your head”, Ed Ruscha

5. “Art is something that makes your breathe with a different kind of happiness”, Anni Albers

6. “Art is a completed pass. You don’t just throw it out into the world — someone has to catch it”, James Turrell

7. “Even the act of peeling a potato can be a work of art if it is a conscious act”, Joseph Beuys

8. “Art is always for the future”, Anthony Gormley

9. “Art is sustenance”, Sarah Sze

10. “To be a teacher is my greatest work of art”, J oseph Beuys

11. “Art is the lie that enables us to realise the truth”, Pablo Picasso

12. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”, Edgar Degas

13. “Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious”, Oscar Wilde

14. “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it”, Bertolt Brecht

15. “Art is the proper task of life”, Friedrich Nietzsche

16. “All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography”, Federico Fellini

17. “Art is to console those who are broken by life”, Vincent van Gogh

18. “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”, Aristotle

19. “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable”, Banksy

20. “Art is what you can get away with”, Andy Warhol

21. “Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around”, Stephen King

22. “Art is a line around your thoughts”, Gustav Klimt

23. “A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art”, Paul Cezanne

24. “Art is the triumph over chaos”, John Cheever

25. “Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is”, Jackson Pollock

I hope you enjoyed these quotes. Please SUBSCRIBE to my monthly newsletter for more interesting discoveries about art and don’t forget to visit my online gallery if you would like to see some beautiful contemporary artworks :)

Originally published at https://artgoda.com on September 15, 2021.



Goda Smilingyte

I help passionate art collectors and talented artists meet each other via my online art gallery artgoda.com.