Gourmet. Indie. Hipster. Just some of the words in the English language that are being thrown around so carelessly on a daily basis that their meanings have been twisted beyond recognition. Among all the words being kicked around in daily discourse, one could spark debates that could last for years on what it really is: art.
What is art? Is it the grandiose, larger-than-life portraits of noblemen of centuries past? Is it the colorful smudges that make up a quaint, idyllic rural landscape? Is it the three-dimensional stone likenesses of naked gods and goddesses? Is it the intricate visual representations of Biblical figures and events on church ceilings and glass windows?
Or is it the squared versions of reality? Is it the chaotic accumulations of trickles, splashes, and droplets on a clean white canvas? Is it the bluish green swirly nightmares of a ‘madman’? Is it the melting timepieces, disfigured body parts, and jaundiced desert landscapes of an eccentric, pointy-mustached man? Is it the almost-homogeneous iterations of a household canned soup?
The answer to all of these, as you might guess, is yes. However, it is not the output itself that makes something art, but rather the process that makes the expression. Filipino painter Emmanuel Garibay said in a forum earlier this year, “Art is in the process, in how you make it. It’s not the product.” In other words, the output—whether it is a painting, a sculpture, a mixed-media installation, a song, a literary piece, a photograph, a film, a theatrical performance, a dance routine, a tattoo, or an outfit—as long as it went through some creative process, can be considered art.