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What separates art from not art? Why is a piece of blank canvas in an art museum art while a piece of blank canvas at an art supply store is not art? For many people, trying to figure out art is like wandering in a maze that may not even have a way out. If you've decided not to go to a museum before because the Andy Warhol paintings they have there make you confused and angry, then you're not alone. Many people feel alienated by the art world. This article can help you learn to understand and enjoy art like the people you see in these museums.
The big difference between art and not art that nobody talks about is not necessarily what the art looks like or what it's made out of but the intentions of the creator. A piece of blank canvas created in a factory is blank because the intention of its creator was to create something for other people to create their acrylic paintings on. A piece of blank canvas in an art museum, however, was left intentionally blank by the artist as a statement. What that statement is may be left up to the viewer or may be explained in a placard next to the work.
What this means is that anybody can become an artist and have work displayed in a gallery, even if they cannot paint with the skill of Vincent Van Gogh. However, the key component in becoming recognized as an artist is that people who matter - art critics, art teachers, other artists - must agree with your intentions, like your work, and think you are clever for creating it. Only then will it be displayed on the wall in an art gallery or museum or be bought for thousands of dollars by a private collector. This doesn't mean that you cannot create art for the enjoyment of people who are not art critics, though.
In fact, many people enjoy art for one reason and one reason only - they like it. They look at Anne Geddes pictures or the quilts for sale at a craft show, and they feel something. They might feel joy or darkness or happiness or marvel at how cute it is. It might not even be the same feeling that the artist had when he or she created it, but as long as you like it, you are appreciating art. Therefore all you really need to do to visit a gallery or museum is wander around and see if anything catches your eye. If something does, you are appreciating that art. You don't need to know anything technical, such as perspective or brush technique, to appreciate art.
Understanding art, then, for a normal person, is not necessarily about trying to get into the head of the artist. It's about what the artwork means to you. If a piece of framed artwork makes you think of how parents love their children or how war is stupid, then that's what it's about. Browse the site to learn more about creating, understanding, and appreciating art.