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Fine art is undoubtedly a genre and an accepted specialized area in the arts today and has been for some time. There are museums all over the world filled to the rafters with fine art, and expensive fine art at that!

But what exactly is fine art. There is an accepted definition but very few of us know it because we are so concerned with discussing fine art and enjoying it that we often forget what it is, or even worse that we forget to find out what it is in the first place.

This is extremely lax of us because we can all appreciate fine art for what it is when we fully understand the concept!
Fine art, contrary to popular belief, is not solely the paintings and sculptures that are found within the confines of a number of museums worldwide.

It does in fact encompass a few disciplines of the visual arts, but that number is indeed limited. Those disciplines are dance, theatre, architecture, printmaking and then of course the obvious sculpture and painting. The one thing that all of the above have in common is that they are traditional and arguably founding members of the arts.

In fact, various schools of thought place them in the realm of classic or academic art, thus implying that there is a very real tradition still in place that excludes more modern forms of art.
Some critics and art snobs often refer to fine art as art with a capital A.

This is an older generation way of looking at individual pieces of art and dramatically alters the perception of the forms of art listed above because there is often debate as to whether certain items of artwork are indeed fine art. Some of the more modern pieces are distasteful to members of the art aristocracy and yet could feasibly be considered as fine art because they are painted or sculpted.

The debate rages on about a number of mediums as a result of this perspective, including the debate about graffiti. Technically it is painting but has traditionally been associated with vandalism, and so people in the art world still turn their noses up at the idea that graffiti could be considered art.

In fine art, the fine is not supposed to denote the quality of the work per se, but the purity of the discipline in question, and this can be interpreted in any given number of ways. As mentioned above, graffiti is technically not pure, and that argument is often used to argue against it is terms of fine art. It is often used to argue against elements of the textile industry being considered as fine art too. However, that being said, there are elements in which some of the other mediums that have been traditionally excluded are now included.

Fine art is often viewed as an elitist term that is somewhat outdated in the modern world whereas others argue that it is a means to help us appreciate the classics even more. Traditional dance and traditional art serves as a reminder to us all of where modern traditions come from and in that way the concept of fine art is very real.

Now we all know the definition of the term, though, we can appreciate that fine art even more and enjoy what it is that we look at every time we pass through the door of a museum!

Until next time...

Cynthia Goranson

Painting "Shadow Walk"

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Comment by randy patton on March 26, 2009 at 5:59am
The previous comment was from the insightful observations of Brian Sherwin, senior editor of Thank you Mr. Sherwin
Comment by randy patton on March 26, 2009 at 5:53am
collectors, curators, teachers, galleries, art appreciators.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
My Response to Shepard Fairey concerning his ‘AP, Obama, and Referencing’ message on Part 4
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Copyright is very important concerning the market and technology of today. People talk about how “fair use” needs to be extended due to the technology of today-- they feel that an extreme interpretation of “fair use“ is needed to secure creative freedoms. They often forget to mention the ease in which an individual can make reproductions from images found online today and the fact that many of the artists advocating for extended “fair use“, such as Shepard Fairey, profit from the random images they find online.

They are waving the banner of creative freedom when in reality the focus is on profit and profit alone-- their profit. Profit with total disregard for the profit and market of their peers. That is why Shepard Fairey is a target for my criticism-- and why he will continue to receive criticism until he takes responsibility. Unfortunately, he tends to use his charity work as a shield or resorts to having his friends rattle sabers when faced with criticism.

The fact remains that a skilled artist can use computer programs to alter an image they found online in order to suggest that it is his or her own-- or he or she can simply print off copies of the image in order to make changes to it. That is not to suggest that artists using these programs are not artists or that certain aspects of computer based art is of no value. It all comes down to responsibility and respect for other artists

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