How to Look at Art
Art is the evidence of human presence which is presented to an audience such that it is noticed. Even natural objects, for instance certain rocks, driftwood and mud, clay, ashes or soot acquire the character of art only when they are discovered and displayed.
This expression varies further as humans advance in technology and acquire the ability to control material objects with more precision or transform them to different forms. To give an example, Ice-age people could make paintings on walls of caves with soot and ochre, sometimes using the bumps on the surface to grant them a more discernible form; In the modern day, artists can simulate reality using computers and also create things which have never been made or seen before.
Agreeably, there are several prominent figures in the history of art, artists and philosophers alike. However, it is the contemporary artists which are of the most interest to us. To give examples, individuals like Brancusi, Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, and Mondrian from Europe; Pollock from the USA; Japanese artists like Fukuzawa Ichiro, Kanbara Tai, Takamura Kataro, and Yoshihara Jiro; and Rabindranath Tagore, M.F. Husain, Chittaprasad from India.
The purpose of naming a few people is to bring to mind that contemporary art and art in general are not particular to any one region of the globe. Art itself is the expression of perception of being human. No manner of organisation or individual can monopolise it.
The historical dimension of art cannot be overlooked since control of humans over nature develops over time. The artist is an intermediatory between visual expression and the socio-political situations in society. Considering this perspective, the wakefulness of an artist is indispensible. After all, it is a determining factor of their own positions in the world and its history.
An artist has an advantage while they are a part of great events taking place. While there are no set specificiations of art which becomes prominent in human history, the perspective of those sitting at the top happens to matter more than those who are in the depths.
Another pecularity is the power and independence the artist can exercise. Artists have risen from the lives of hunter-gatherers who painted in caves, to mere craftsmen in the feudal era to the independent contemporary artists.
Hence, the contemporary artist is more powerful than their historical counterparts.
The art of the modern day artists reflects the perspective of life around them and has some manner of relevance to it since it has an independent viewpoint.