Art certainly can be a painting, but it doesn’t necessarily have to.
Paintings are a powerful medium for art. They cause us to delay: To stop and think and change us for the better.
So if the purpose of art is to change us for the better than why limit it to just paintings or manuscripts or photographs?
Space in a museum is finite. If we use the criteria that it must be hung on a wall or displayed in a museum, we are severely limiting the amount of art in the world.
What is art then?
Art is any kind of human work that brings emotional labor resulting in a connection.
It’s putting on a show. It’s putting a smile on someone’s face. It’s anything that brings us closer together.
Art is a gift. It always has an element of generosity when we spend our time making something that needs to be made for someone or helping someone who needs to be helped.
Artist don’t make art for credit or money or fame. They aren’t busy keeping score about magical digits and bits compared to other people. There busy making a difference.
Some of us will read this and go, “What are you crazy? I need to make money.” I’m not saying you shouldn’t get paid for your art. You should get paid. But it’s not the primary reason we do it. We do it because it matters. We do it because it brings meaning. When we feed the network often enough, the network will turn around and feed us back.
Anything can be art. So it is to our advantage to see the art in everything.