Today, many debate what the definition of true art is. A true artist helps the world by revealing humanistic truths. For a layman, beautiful character drawings, sketches and paintings are considered art. Artists however, have a diverse definition. Leonardo Da Vinci exclaimed “The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.” In either case, it could be precieved that art is not confined to painting landscapes, portraits or sketching different characters. It is about creating something you love as a way of self-expression. If this definition doesn’t satisfy you and you’re still looking for a ‘proper’ definition, here are some answers from different artists on what they perceive true art to be:

“The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.”

Leonardo Da Vinci

Thomas McEvilley

Professor of Art history at Rice University, Contributing Editor at Artforum Magazine

Thomas McEvilley shared his experience during his visit to a Media Center. He found some posts hung over laundry in a backyard; he considered it as a work of art. He knew it was artwork because of where it was hung. Were it not for its location, he may not have known it was a work of art. This indicates that anything can be exhibited as an art piece. There is no one-line definition of what art is and this frustrates the general public.

Antonio Houmen

Director, Sonnabend Gallery

Antonio Houmen had a similar opinion to that of Thomas McEvilley. He shared that art is not defined by hard and fast definitions. This is one reason artists began doing movies and video during the 1970s. At that time, instead of a video being called Video art, it was considered as a piece of art made by artists using videotapes and films. Art comes in different shapes and whenever it takes a new form, people ask, “Is this really art?”

Richard Prince


Richard Prince (based on his own work) defines art as art if it is what he knows and if it makes him feel good. He defines art as a revolution. At the same time, he agrees that art does not have a concrete definition and not all people can agree on what is good or bad art. He considers art work that people can relate to as “good and meaningful.”

Today, art is present all around us. It can take the form of images, paintings, movies, animations, gifs, digital drawings, motion graphics, the possibilities are endless. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Anything you find feelings in, or that moves you on an emotional level could be considered art. You just need to take the time to recognize and appreciate it! Knowing what you personally like is what matters. What kind of ideas do you consider to be, true art in modern times? Let me know in the comments below.

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