Essay On George Dickie’s Definition Of Art

The dictionary definition of art from Merriam-Webster is, “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings. ” While this definition of art is correct, there is so much more to the meaning. People all around the world have always used art as a way of expression. There is no strict definition of art, art can be defined on truly how you think and feel when you hear the word. Many people who take part in art are amateur artists. They do not make art for the satisfaction of people in the art world. George Dickie has different ideas about art than I do myself.

Dickie made a very strong argument that his definition of art is correct and art must fit into his categories to even be considered art. Although Dickie made few strong points in his definition, his thoughts do not encompass all that is art. According to Dickie, art isn’t art unless it is an artifact. With this being said, he is implying that unless it was made to be preserved and appreciated, it is not a piece of art at all. I disagree with this statement completely. By saying this, Dickie eliminated many pieces of art around the world for being considered as pieces of work.

There are so many masterpieces done by so many different artist out there that keep their work private. This doesn’t mean that their work is not classified as art just because one man made a definition that stated it must be made for satisfaction from others in the art world to even be considered as art. The work of the private artist is just as creative and unique as the work of famous artists who go public, like Michelangelo. Propose Michelangelo sculpted David for his own satisfaction and not for the pleasure of others in the art world.

Dickie would be implying that this astonishing chiseled masterpiece is simply not considered as a piece of artwork at all. Another point Dickie made to his definition was that in order to be considered art, it must be approved by someone in the art world. It must have the qualities someone with the knowledge of art would appreciate. I disagree with this statement. Dickie is pretty much concluding that if the art is not appreciated or accepted by someone who is either known in the art world, or someone who has a degree in art, then the piece of work is not in the category of art.

By looking deeper into this definition, this is also compared to saying that if I were to create a piece of work and my art professor did not appreciate it or seem to like the piece, then it is not considered art at all. This is completely wrong in my opinion. If I put forth my time, effort, emotions, and mind into a piece that I believed was truly great, but then one person to be considered a part of the art world did not appreciate the work, then all of my hard work was a waste and my piece is in fact no piece of work at all.

One does not need to gain the appreciation from others for it to be considered art. Their art is their art and Dickie’s definition should not be discriminating. Dickie also made the point that your art is merely not art unless it has been approved by someone in the art world. With this being said, Dickie is making the point to say that unless your work has been approved by someone who is important or has any knowledge of the history of art, then it is not art within his definition. He believed you needed the approval of one higher up in the art world than you were for your piece to obtain the title of’art’.

Many people make their art for themselves. They do not seek the approval of others, lower or higher in the scale of the art world. Here, Dickie also contradicted himself. He basically said that if you like art, then you could be considered apart of the art world, but when he was defining art he said you are not apart of the art world unless you have knowledge of art and its history. In “Introducing Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art”, Hick writes that the idea of marriage has rules that are much more uptight than the art world’s rules.

The books states, “Finally, while the institution of marriage has certain set rules and laws, the institution on the art world seem much looser than this” (Page 35). With this being said, it is decided that the rules of art are indeed ‘loose’. Art doesn’t have to be precisely a painting. The medium of the art work could range from sculpting, drawing, ceramics, or anything your heart desires. To me this shows even more why Dickies definition of art is close minded compared to others such as Levinson. Do you look at street art and ever feel moved?

If so, then you would have to disagree with Dickie’s definition. It rules out outsider art or private art, which would imply that it rules out street art of ever being considered art at all. He is saying once again that it is not considered art because it was not approved by someone in the art world. Banksy, a British activist, painter, and street artist is very well known and his work speaks to people all over the world. Banksy appeals to the general public. He picks the places all over the city to show his art to try to get his point across about a variety of issues all over the world.

Since his art is directed to the general public, Dickies definition wouldn’t classify it as art. In my opinion, this is completely wrong. I believe art is defined by the feeling you get when you create. Street art would be considered art to not only me, but to many people all over the world. My favorite piece of Banksy’s would have to be the painting on the wall of a man pressure washing away old cave paintings. This piece spoke to me because it represents the idea of the how art has developed over time.

It shows the man erasing the cave painting images of horses and stick figures to simply imply that this is the dawning of a new age. So much has changed over time and now it’s time for a new page in the book, street art. For me, this is classified as art. It speaks to me, it gives off an arorah of feelings. It makes us look back and see how so much has evolved over time and how far the human race has come. If this is not art by the definition of Dickie, then his definition is simply incorrect. Dickie wouldn’t agree with Banksy’s work because it is considered thinking outside of the box.

It was not approved or will never be set aside to be approved by someone high in the art world. Banksy simply did not create his work to seek approval and appreciation from others and that is why Dickie would not classify his art as art. Although Dickie has made several theories for his definition that I do not agree with, there is one point that I can say I find accurate. Dickie claimed, “An artist is a person who participates with understanding in the making of a work of art” (Page 36). I completely agree with this statement made by Dickie. An artist is someone who understands what they are creating for.

Whether it is to get some type of feelings out, or just because they had a random idea come into their head. Understanding may be difficult for some, even for the artist sometimes, but deep down there is always an understanding inside the artist’s heart. Even though Dickie’s several definitions differed from some of my beliefs, I have to say this statement he made is surprisingly true. Looking back at Banksy and seeing why and how he created his art is live proof that these other theories stated before are not reliable and are in fact one sided.