All human creations can be divided broadly into three categories i.e. science, religion and arts. Initially, art referred to any human skill or mastery. However during the romantic period, art was separated from the other two main branches of human creation i.e. science and religion. Arts, science and religion are now considered as different specializations that have nothing in common.
Albert Einstein said “All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. ” Yet we don’t know why? After all, religion is based on faith needing no evidence. Science is based on fact that has to be proven by evidence. Art relates to human emotion and requires neither faith nor evidence as we know it is a fiction or an object created purely from the imagination of a human mind.
Art: An Imagination that needs emotional evidence
It is extremely difficult to define art. Art is, fortunately, a work of human imagination and creativity that is free from any bondage or test. The only reason, why a particular music is considered as an art, is that it appeals to the listener. The test of a good painting is the appreciation of the viewer. No logic, reason or proof is required to term an art as good as its only criterion is that it should be appreciated by people.
While both science and religion claims to be factual and the representation of the reality, art has no qualm in admitting that it is nothing but a fiction. As a matter of fact, some forms of arts like movies and novels clearly state that these are the work of fiction and any resemblance with the fact or reality is purely accidental. Literature, another form of art, is officially called fiction as everything in the novel or the story is fictitious which are created purely from human imagination.
Thus one essential feature of art is that it is not a representation of fact or reality. Yet a good movie or a story makes you cry, increases your heart-beat, makes you laugh and makes you forget that it is not a reality. The effect of a good art is no different than that created by the reality.
The most interesting thing about an art is that it affects your emotions and not the mind. When you are reading a thriller like “Da Vinci Code, your mind is very much aware that everything in the novel is a fiction, yet you just can’t control your emotions which emerges in the reader as if you are reading a real life story of the characters in the real life situation. In a typical fiction, all the characters and situations are created by the imagination of the author, yet they seem quite real. A fiction is, thus, not a work of any imagination but it consists of many facts and realities that makes the fiction like a reality.
It can be compared with a painting of a beautiful girl. The girl may be imaginary, yet the features of the girl have a close resemblance with real girls. The colors of the painter are also real, which may not be exactly same as the real life girl give the impression of the real girl, when woven from the imagination of the viewer. An artist creates the body of the reality but the soul of the reality comes from the imagination of the viewer who pours his own soul in the art. Therefore, when a novel is read by a million people, each person imagine the characters and situation from his own imagination.
Thus an art is created by the imagination of the artist which appeals to the emotions of other persons. The real test of an art is not the test of Truth (how close it is from Truth) but how much it looks like Truth. The test of art is not the proof or evidence it has but how the reader perceives the truth in the fiction. To convey the real message in the guise of imaginative characters and situation itself is an art which only artists can understand. If the art fails to influence the heart (emotions) of the people, it can’t be said to be a good art.