What Is Art?

Invisible Art Exhibit Has People Confused

by Liz Dromer (Contributor)


What is art? The Oxford dictionary defines it 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”. In reality, the question “what is art?” can be answered in many different ways, and not any one of the answers can be said to be the right one. What is sure is that art is as old as humans. Even back in their caves, our ancestors were depicting moments of their lives, stories of hunting, and important memories.

Since then, we have found many different ways to express ourselves and set our minds and imagination free. Art is constantly evolving, and will be until the end of time. In the last two centuries alone, art has changed drastically, from Romanticism to Realism, from Picasso to Andy Warhol. And let’s not forget the numerous modern artists of our days.

Recently, modern art has reached a whole new dimension: a New York artist has created “art” that is invisible, and collectors are paying millions for it. The artist, a 27 year old woman named Lana Newstorm, exposes her so called work at the Shulberg Gallery in New York. She declares: “Just because you can’t see anything, doesn’t mean I didn’t put hours of work into creating a particular piece”. You might be wondering what invisible art looks like. Well, simply imagine a blank wall in an art gallery with a price tag of $35,000 on it. For that price, you don’t even get to take the wall home. The general public and critics have very different opinions on it; some call it genius and others are calling bullshit. And so am I. Why spend so much money on art you cannot even see?! Simply leave a small amount of the wall in your bedroom clear and there you have it! Invisible art! Where are the emotions, work and the feelings behind something that’s not even there? This exposition is probably the most ridiculous thing I have heard of in a long time…

If you agree with me, or are simply tired of reading me rant about how I found this whole thing utterly absurd, then you will be relieved to learn that this whole invisible art gallery is a hoax, a prank pulled by two Canadian humorists on their radio show “This is That”, aired on CBC. It turns out Lana Newstorm does not exist, and neither does this strange exposition. BANG. Canadian humor strikes again.

Note: Even if this is a joke, the real question to ask ourselves here is: until what point can we call something art? What makes any artwork worth more than another? The work put into it? The chain of thought behind it? The amount of time spent on it? We can also wonder what kind of a society we have become if I was able to convince you that people were paying crazy money to get invisible art.

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