Art involves a wide range of human activities as well as the product of such activities. There are different types of art, but the most common is visual art. It comprises the formation of objects and images in different fields that range from sculpture to photography and printmaking. The other types of visual art that do not involve painting include film, theatre, music, and performing art, as well as literature (McDonnell).
A contemporary definition of art
A contemporary definition of art has been a matter of a philosophical controversy. But traditionally, art must have properties of expression, representation, and formality. It means that for any work to be called art, it must involve a representation of something else, an expression of an artist, and it should be presented in a formal context. This definition aims at preventing people from proclaiming natural items as a work of art. However, the philosophical usefulness of a definition of art has been debated. There are two main sorts of definitions. One definition represents a typically modern and conventionalist view that mainly focuses on institutional features of art. It emphasizes the way art is changing over a period of time. Another less contemporary definition usually makes use of a wider and more traditional idea of aesthetic properties that comprises more than art-relational ones. It usually focuses on trans-historical and pan-cultural characteristics (McDonnell).
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Contemporary definition of art attempts to apply different categories of facts in regard to art. It holds that art has significant historically conditioned cultural features and trans-cultural features that tend to point towards a comparatively stable aesthetic core. Conventionalist definitions of art usually deny that art has any interrelationship with aesthetic properties, expressive properties, and formal properties. They also reject any art definition that has properties derived from traditional definitions as being nonessential to art. Conventionalist explanations of art have been influenced to a large extent by the emergence of artworks that are radically different from any previous artworks of the 20th century. Conventionalist explanation of art has also been strongly influenced by a number of philosophers, who have documented the growth and development of contemporary ideologies of fine arts, the work of art, individual art, and aesthetics (McDonnell).
Definition of self-identity
Self-identity is defined as the unique characteristics that belong to an individual or are shared by members of a specific social group or category. Identity is usually best construed as being both contextual and relational. Self-identity has also been defined as a set of personal characteristics through which an individual is recognized as a member of a group. Discrete personality of a person is usually regarded as a persisting entity (Leary & Price).
In a modern philosophy of mind, the concept of self-identity is usually regarded as involving a diachronic problem. It is also viewed from lenses of both analytic and continental philosophies. The main issue is that continental philosophy is finding the sense in which a person can sustain the contemporary conception of identity, whilst understanding that most of prior assumptions about the world are incorrect.
The most common criterion of self-identity is that we are our bodies, which means that self-identity is instituted by some instinctive physical connection between various distinct bodies or different life-maintaining systems at different points of time. However, despite the fact that this view is usually unpopular, recent developments in self-development theory have assured a conceptual change (Leary & Price).
Self-identity as an integral component of the human species
Its relationship with art has been explored in different fields. For centuries, artists have used art to express their identity to the society through means of visual representations that involve an array of techniques and mediums. Artists utilize a self-identity theme consciously in their artworks, thus creating a visual self-examination of their past, present, and future. Other artists have integrated personal experiences and matter within their works of art (Leary & Price).
Construction of self-identity usually involves life experiences, connections and relationships, and a solid emotional stamp on a person. Self-identity construction involves a symbolical representation of emotions and thoughts in an expressive way, including creation of visual representations. Through art production, construction, and creation, artists produce and construct their self-identity simultaneously. In addition, exploration of self-identity through art normally provides a tangible source of expression among individuals. Art is usually a mean of exploring self-identity and promoting self-expression as well as its diversity. It is this dialogue created though an expression of art that speaks to the community and the safeguards that are crucial for expressing individual identity in a society (Hanson & Hanson).
Exploration of self-identity through art enhances development of desirable personal traits of self-acceptance, tolerance, and respect of all people and their beliefs. It usually gives a person a chance to reproduce upon their own individual and cultural identity. It is vital to the point that a central concept in the sense of self has essentially been a theme that has occurred repeatedly throughout the history of art. Artists usually use their artwork as a mean of expressing their own multifarious selves to their audiences. The relationship between art and identity has become increasingly significant, especially during the post-modern era. It has happened after a long restriction by the formalist tendencies of novelty and modernism, as well as abstractionism (Hanson & Hanson).
One of the common ways through which artists have communicated their self-identities has been their work of self-portraiture. It has permitted an expression of self-identity as well as group identities that relate to culture, gender, and sexual orientation. Therefore, it is evident that most artists use their artworks to explore and to express both self and group identities. In addition, the relationship between artists and their works, which acts as a major component in the art world, has essentially permitted the art of identity to provide a sophisticated analysis of the human nature and the way they perceive themselves (Hanson & Hanson).