I have a definition for art that I think always works. I'm not an artist, I'm not knowledgeable about art, and I frankly don't care very much for most of it, so you might very well be excused if you'd think that whatever I say on the matter matters not. If an artist or an expert on art tried to convince me that their definition of, say, species was worth taking seriously, then I'd probably chortle (but let them give it a shot). But, I also do not really care whether there is or can be given a good definition for art. It's just that I think I have one.
Definition: A thing is art If the maker intends it to be art.
You might immediately object that since the sentence is circular, then it cannot work. But I think it does nonetheless.
Take this picture:
Takezo and Bjarke making art. Cones and sticks on concrete and bricks.
Is it art? No, it is not. I took it today with the intent to depict my sons making art. My intent was not to make art, and therefore it is not. What my two sons have made in the picture is art, or at least I think so. I did not ask them - that would be futile, as they really have no concept of what art is. This raises the question if something can be intended to be art if the maker doesn't know what art is, but since it by definition is something of intent alone, I think I can say with confidence that they meant it to be art. The meaning of the object is unknown, and by definition there doesn't have to be any. I have previously heard another definition stating that art is that with is made to convey a statement, but that doesn't work. My sons made art, but had no statement, and I have made things that made a statement, but wasn't art. Would anyone say that a poster of scientific work that I made is art, for example. I think not. I also think that some art does not make a statement, like portraits that was just meant to depict a person, as was common before the invention of photography.
However, someone could take the picture above and show it with the intent of making art, and then it would be. Be my guest.
48 minutes ago in Variety of Life