Art is a wide spectrum of human activities involved in the production of performing, visual, or performing works, that express the artist’s creativity, originality, or technical ability, intended either to be enjoyed primarily for their aesthetic beauty or aesthetic power. In its broadest sense, art can be defined as a product of human imagination and creativity manifested in a physical form. Although art usually derives from the visual arts such as painting, sculpture, and architecture, the history of art is marked by a long history of cultural interaction between cultures and representing unique human experiences. Modern art forms have developed through a process of historical evolution, most notably in the Western classical manifestations of the term, typically characterized by a separation of the artistic practices of the various cultures within the European society.
From a broad perspective, art history refers to the development of art over time, from the earliest forms of artistic expressions, such as sculptures and paintings, to the more modern photographic and performance art that is commonly found in contemporary exhibitions. This highly creative industry is constantly inventing new ways to communicate its creative ideas and create new works of art. In this highly subjective and ever-changing industry, an artist’s aesthetic decisions are frequently influenced by many forces beyond his/her conscious control.
Art is not the exclusive domain of the highly educated and refined, but also includes the majority of people who consider themselves as having an open mind and an appreciation of beauty. The term ‘art’ actually derives from the Greek word ‘Astraea’, which means ‘appearance’. Art is not merely the conscious attempt to produce a work of beauty, but also involves an element of spontaneity and subjective entertainment. Because the artist’s aesthetic decisions are based on his/her interpretation of the world around him, the resulting artwork may be different from the original idea of the artist. Aesthetic decisions are deeply personal and therefore, art may be subjective to the personality of the artist. For this reason, aesthetic appreciation of a work of art is individualistic and not necessarily connected to the culture, class, nationality, or background of the artist.