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What is Art?

An old and challenging question is, “What is art?” The question is probably as old as art and artists; the moment someone made a cave painting, someone else probably asked, “But is it art?”

It’s possible the question cannot be answered in any objective way; we may each have a personal definition of art. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

First, there are (at least) three distinct questions one might ask regarding art:

  1. Is it art?
  2. Is it good art?
  3. Do I like it?

This essay is strictly about the first question. Critical review (whether a piece of Art is good) and taste (whether you like it) are separate matters.

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