Art conversation questions
- What is art?
- What is the purpose of art?
- What are the implications of "Art for art's sake"?
- What is the difference between "modern art" and more conventional art?
- Do you appreciate a piece of modern art more if you have had it "explained" to you? Should art need to be "explained"?
- We often consider art in terms of painting. What other things come under the term "art"?
- Consider the following: computer programming, accountancy, ironing clothes. Could any of these be examples of "art"?
- What could, under no circumstances, be art?
- It is sometimes claimed that "Art is something which generates an emotional reaction." What is your opinion?
- Boredom is an emotion. Are boring things art?
- It is sometimes claimed that art must send some form of message to the viewer. What is your opinion? Should the message always be "beautiful"?
Art and you
- Have you visited any art galleries or museums recently?
- Tell me about an art show that you've recently seen and liked? Why did you like it? What made it special?
- At the moment, are there any special exhibitions on in your town or country? Are you going to visit them?
- In general, are art galleries in your country free or do you have to pay to visit them? Which do you think is best and why: a charge to cover costs? Free entry? A voluntary contribution?
- Some cities organise one night each year - typically sometime in summer - during which some museums stay open until very late at night. Have you ever been to a museum late at night? Was it an interesting experience?
- Do you own any interesting pieces of art or would you like to? What sort of art would you buy/collect?
- Are you in any way artistic?
- Has anything you painted/sculpted/designed, etc. ever been on public display?
- Have you ever tried to buy something at an auction? What was the process?
- Many people's tastes in art can be summed up by the comment "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." What do you feel about that comment?
- Is it possible to appreciate art without liking it? Can you think of any examples?
- Are there specific works of art that you like by an artist even if you don't especially like that particular artist?
- If an artist is notorious in some way, how does that affect your appreciation of his/her work? Can you separate an artist from his/her work?
- Professor Gunther von Hagens takes real human bodies, subjects them to a plastifying process, removes some of their outer flesh and then poses them realistically as art exhibitions. What is your opinion of this art?
- Many first world countries hold artefacts obtained from around the world when they were dominant powers. (The classic example is the Elgin Marbles.) In some cases the original countries want them back. What is your opinion of this?
- In many cases the “original” political entity no longer exists – what difference, if any, should this make?
- In the USA many native peoples have asked for the return of ancient corpses so that they can be reburied. What do you think of this?
- Does your country hold any artefacts taken from other countries?
- Is your country in the process of trying to get artefacts back from other countries?