Originally Posted by Amberleh
Since this is probably taking a jab at me because you're still bitter over me calling out your shenanigans, I'll bite to humor you.
There are many different forms of art. My particular field is actually commercial art- Graphic Design, illustration, etc. My goal is to illustrate Children's Books as well as children's textbooks- So, educational illustration.
Young children are visual learners. Oftentimes pictures are necessary for them to comprehend subject matter. The way you also get young children into reading is through the introduction of picture books- I was reading at a college level in 5th grade because my parents gave me a lot of picture books that they would slowly replace with books with less pictures until I was reading novels.
As far as other uses of arts go- Every single big-name company has at least a few artists that either work for them or are commissioned by them. Look at Riot- They don't just have their champion artists, they also have to hire artists to do layouts and concept art for environments and so on.
Graphic design is, gasp, an art. Any decent website uses a graphic designer, and every big-name company uses at least one graphic designer to not only design their logo, but to help set up their store. You may look at icons like the Apple and Twitter logo as simple things that probably took about 10 minutes to make, but you would be wrong. A LOT of planning and work goes into designing these things.
There's also the animation industry. Ever heard of Disney? Pixar? Nickolodeon? Cartoon Network? All of these companies employ hundreds of artists not only for animation work, but for concept art, character design, and so on.
As a non-artist I can see where you wouldn't understand how much art affects society today or how much work goes into it, but you might want to continue to do some research before you throw random inflamatory remarks about a very large part of culture around.
Some of the greatest minds in history were artists, such as Leonardo Da Vinci- He was an inventor as well as an artist. He also discovered many things that we use in science today. Artists were also some of the earliest people to study human anatomy and how we work.
I could continue, but hopefully you get my point.
I think your biggest hang-up is that you don't realize that there are commercial artists. You seem to be thinking about just fine arts, and I agree that fine arts is a little more on the useless side, but I assure you that commercial art is a necessity and you see it every day over ten times a day.
Edit: For the record, I strongly dislike modern art.
I think what you are describing herein, which includes things like "functional art" and "graphic art" or "illustrative art" can be divorced from the concept of "artistic expression".
This can best explored via extent of copyright protection for artistic works (blow me because I don't know the correct terms of art). On one end of the spectrum is fully artistic work, capable of only unique expression, which is afforded maximum copyright protection. On the other end are things like drawings of skeletons or whatever. Skeletons already exist in nature, there is little to no 'unique expression' in drawing a skeleton. Such artistic works are also afforded minimal copyright protection due to their nature.
"Modern art" exists only on the end of the spectrum capable of unique expression. Before Pollack, nobody was going to make a Pollack, his art was fully unique expression. Conversely, drawing scenes to go along with a story is not capable of fully unique expression, because no matter what you draw it is fully confined within the storyline. For example, give 100,000 people pencils and tell them to draw the first scene of the book of genesis and you will have many scenes which are almost identical to each other.
That said, fully unique expression really serves only a few purposes. One, to instill feeling or emotion in the viewers. This purpose is shared across disciplines all labeled "art" -- music, literature, etc. Two, to build upon previous works and transcend them. This purpose is also shared across disciplines all labeled "art" -- music, literature, etc. Three, to inflate the ego of the artist and immortalize him. This purpose is also shared across disciplines all labeled "art" -- music, literature, etc. I would say that any venture which combines these three purposes can be an art. Do these arts contribute anything to modern day society?
First we must ask do these arts contribute anything to any society? The answer is yes, but I will not explain how I arrive at this answer in this post because it would take too long and is better explored through other media. The answer the original question must also be yes. But this is not an admission that all arts
contribute anything to modern society. I would suggest that there are some arts which contribute nothing to modern society. Take, The Human Centipede
, for example. Modern society gains no benefit from the existence of such a movie. Likewise, modern society gains no benefit from half the garbage in NYC MoMA.