Art depends upon human beings for its existence. Without human beings the definition of art would be valueless. Some believe that art is natural and that no one can be taught to become an artist.
Others argue that art is spiritual. It is something which is built up from ones thought, which demands an individual to act on paper or a canvas. These thoughts may be social, political, economical or aesthetical. In art, one will also realize that not all people exist in the same way, by looking at artworks of individual artists. Some works are horrific or not accommodative to look at. One will realize that what is important in a painting is not what it means but what it does to the audience. It creates a dialogue between audience and the painting itself as the audience will try to picture the message that there is communicating. Some people relate very well with the work of art because to them it acts as a form of therapy; it takes off the stress.
Some people believe that a picture/painting speaks better than words and it is easy to relate to.
It is important as well to read the artist statement to understand how to communicate well with a painting. The statement contained a brief motivation of an artist.
For example, a motivational statement by Zodwa Juma-Mnkandla says, “My work is inclined to socio-political and economic
themes. As an artist I feel it is my duty to communicate to the world about our environment in a holistic manner transforming less appreciated material into a ‘voice. ‘The theme of the work I intend to do during my stay at Thapong is centered on transformation in relation to varied issues affecting society. The word transformation is broad as it embraces different aspects within an environment. In simple terms, it is the changes that occur in various societies. For example economic policies when altered redirect people’s way of life, the negative impact brought
about by HIV and AIDS, global warming and many more issues.” This is a statement which centered on her artwork that she produced during her stay at Thapong. It made it easy for the audience to interact with the artwork.
One of her works is titled: Return to conflict. It is a depiction
of a situation that shows that we are not winning in conflict resolution. The idea behind her painting gives us a clear understanding of the world we are living in.
Furthermore, looking at the traditional art, it is clear that the
artists create artwork within their mind. He/she develops a vision or picture in the mind and brings it forward. Examples are decorated homes and flower patterns which are deeply rooted in them. And what ever pattern they design has meaning in their lives.
In general, African art is more about the region, politically and socially. One example is that during the apartheid era, artists in South Africa used art to express themselves politically. In central and west Africa, the expression is demonstrated through the mask. People were using masks to show their identity.
In this manner one may say Africans have allowed silent objects to speak to their life.
Another best example is the Egyptian art which has naturalistic forms that relate with the Egyptian’s way of living. The artworks are religious and give inspiration.
Some people have pictures in their mind but due to lack of skill in
drawing or painting, they loose the opportunity of bring them forward.
Here, art could then be defined as a cultural practice that involves the creation of specific and definable pictures. The function of that artwork is self-conscious, personal, or collective expression of a situation.
They had never been trained to do art. The other example is the way we set up things in our place. The interior decoration in the living room is artistic. The way one makes the look in the living room shows their creative skill. Even the placing of the objects is done in such a way that it will emphasise on the aesthetic nature. Art is vital to our lives and society because we use it every day even unawares.
The importance of art leads us to the claim that every child, every human being, must be afforded an opportunity to learn and practice the arts.
It is also clear that those who produce amazing works of art are those who allow creativity to flow.