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1. functions of art

Chapter Four

FUNCTIONS AND PRINCIPLES OF ART

Each artwork represents different functions in accordance with the artist and the viewer. In an artist, what he wants to express might be different with what the viewer perceived. Or it might be that the viewer is looking at the artwork on different perspective

FUNCTIONS OF ART

1. Contextual Function - To classify function depends on the context, for these categories can often do overlap in any given piece of art. No specific function can be assigned to a particular piece of art without first considering its proper context. One can look at an artwork and approximately know where it came from and when. This includes identifying the artist as to what was the artist thinking at the same time he was executing the art, since the artist is the first half of the contextual equation. On the other side, what does this piece of art mean to me as a living individual now, since the other half of the contextual equation is the viewer.

2. Physical Function of Art - This function is the most easily dealt with since this is about the physical aspect of artwork. The wedding ring or wedding dress connotes the physical function of a soon to be wedding ceremony; 'toga' is a message of a forthcoming graduation; stethoscopes relay a medical course; and so on and so forth.

3. Social Function of Art - Art that depicts social condition performs social function. It has social function when it addresses aspects of collective life in oppose with an individual point of view or experience. In short, social function of art is to influence the human behavior created primarily in public and for public situation and express if not describe social collective aspect of human existence . Example is the song "Upuan" where the idea is the common people's asking to those sitting in the symbolic 'upuan' (political positions) to go down and feel the life of poverty and even life of those living beyond the poverty line — collective life in oppose with an individual experience.

4. Personal Function of Art - This is the most difficult to explain since it vary from one person to another. An artist creates an artwork maybe just to express feeling of gratitude, to communicate thoughts or idea, to share aesthetic experience of maybe merely to entertain. Sometimes artwork may serve as the personal function of control; it could create different political graffiti, it moves people to rally and voice out their grievances. Art can also be therapeutic for both the artist and the viewer. The way we adorn ourselves in order to be attractive enough is also a personal function of art.

5. Socio-Cultural Function of Art - Art significantly plays in the evolution of culture since they contribute both to cultural continuity and innovation of forms and techniques to cultural change. They give forms to fundamental beliefs and feelings and become culture carriers. Some artworks contribute in transmitting ideas, values and attitudes from person to person and from generation to generation. Visual art such as literature, music, dance, theater, and film ranges from primitive to very sophisticated models of expression and communication. However, to fully benefit from its many functions and participate fruitfully either in producing or responding, skills and sensibilities must be first be cultivated.(Art Appreciation: Looking Beyond, p35-39)

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