Artworks are physical objects that may have aesthetic or conceptual value. They can take the form of a painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, photograph or installation. Artworks can also be made using a wide range of techniques and media, such as oil, watercolour, pencil, ink, clay, metal or glass. Artworks can also be associated with particular art movements, such as impressionism, cubism or surrealism. Some artworks have a political dimension or aim to provoke thought and discussion. Examples include Picasso’s Guernica and Rivera’s Man at the Crossroads, as well as the work of street artist Banksy and the guerilla group The Guerilla Girls.
Philosophers have a number of theories about what makes an artwork valuable, and the way that art functions in a culture. One common theory is that an artwork reveals the essence of a culture, or provides a springboard from which ‘that which is’ can be discovered. Another is that an artwork represents a truth about the world, or about human nature. Others argue that an artwork is a tool for understanding the complexities of reality, or is an expression of the artist’s emotions and experiences.
Many philosophers have discussed the relationship between morality and art, and the ways that artworks can be used to express ideas or values. Some philosophers have argued that the ethical questions that can be raised by artworks are different from those raised by other kinds of material, such as novels or news articles. They have suggested that this difference is due to the fact that artworks are able to plug a gap in subjective discourse that objective discursive material cannot, and so serve as an ethical counterpoint.
The idea that an artwork can provide a perspective on the world that is not available to us through other sources has led to the development of philosophical concepts such as existentialism and structuralism. The latter theory has been particularly influential in the philosophical analysis of art.
The act of creating an artwork is a process that can be beneficial to mental health, even if the final result is not perfect. It has been found that engaging with a creative activity such as making an artwork can help to relieve stress, increase focus and concentration, and boost self-esteem. Moreover, the act of interacting with a piece of art can stimulate the brain to create new neural pathways and improve cognitive function. This is why it is important to include art in your daily routine.