What Makes An Artwork Awesome?

The question of what makes an artwork awesome has been debated since the first stroke of paint touched the canvas.
When we ask people what makes an artwork awesome, we get as many answers as there are people. It all depends on how people define art and beauty.
That's why we dig in the four theories of art to understand what people love and see as beauty.

1. Theory of Emotionalism

"Art is awesome when it evokes an emotional experience"

In the theory of emotionalism what really matters is the fact that the artist is able to evoke a mood, idea or feeling regardless of composition, context or narrative.
The communication between the artwork and the viewer is crucial, if the art is able to touch a feeling from the audience, then we can define the artwork as awesome.

2. Theory of Imitationalism 

"Art is awesome when it imitates real life"

This theory claims that artwork is awesome when it imitates real life. Mimetic artworks are instantly recognisable because of their devotion to reality. The more realistic the artwork is, the better. In the artworks of Thijs Postma you will see a lot of realism in it, even the weather conditions are painted with this theory in mind.

3. Theory of Formalism

"Art is awesome when it masters the artistic rules and principles"

This theory is all about a pleasing composition. The artist will concentrate on how an artwork looks where the color, lines, shape and texture are highly important. The historical or social context behind the painting is seen as a sideshow. The composition is all that matters.

4. Theory of Instrumentalism

"Art is awesome when it communicates a message"

The theory of instrumentalism focuses on context and message. The artist uses his artwork as an instrument to persuade the audience or provides political, social or moral commentary.

Which theory fits best with you?

It's important to remember there is no right or wrong theory. Art is subjective and the judgment of whether an artwork is awesome or not is a matter of personal preferences and opinions. 

The way we respond to art stems from what we believe art is and what its overall purpose is.

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